Stuart and Jill Walsh reports baby Sophie (10 months) stolen by a couple whiled they shopped at a mall. Ransom is demanded. DNA on the baby's dumped cloths identifies kidnapper Marty Ellis, but he's killed by his female partner. Teenage son, Keith Walsh, takes ill-considered action. DNA proves Sophie's biological father is the neighbor, photographer Brad Garland. The fatal bullet traces to Carla Hoyle, who reveals another crime and everything is linked.
A baby girl is stolen from her mother in a crowded area in broad daylight, and the investigation takes an unlikely turn when CSI discovers that the mother's husband is not the biological father.
- Miami. Day. A mother totes a crying baby along the boardwalk. "Stop her!" an approaching couple yells. "She stole our baby!" The couple takes the baby and runs, while a man in the crowd holds back our screaming mother, Jill Walsh. Looks like a case for certain man wearing a certain pair of sunglasses.
Moments later, Lieutenant Caine arrives on the scene. "I was in a rush," Jill Walsh says. "They took her ... her name is Sophie! Will I ever see her again?"
"You will," Caine growls.
YEEE-OWWW! Cue opening credits!
Back from break, Jill is comforted by her husband, Stuart. Calleigh asks for DNA samples from the entire family, including big brother Keith. Suddenly, the telephone rings. Could it be the kidnappers? "We have your baby," an electronic voice says. "If you want to see her again, you'll bring us $500,000." Alas, the call is untraceable. Jill runs to a nearby safe and begins removing wads of cash. "If you give them what you want, they will kill your daughter," Calleigh warns. "You can't blame yourself. These are professional criminals. This is what they do!"
Meanwhile, Keith tells Eric that someone threw a baseball through the porch window the previous week. One montage later, Eric (using a hairdryer) discovers prints on the ball. He photographs the prints and sends them through the system. No match. Not yet anyway.
Back on the boardwalk, Caine notes that the baby was taken from the only section that doesnt have a surveillance camera. Obviously, the kidnappers did their homework -- or were previously familiar with the site. One montage of searching later, Eric discovers the baby's clothes in the trashcan. "They changed her clothes because they're planning to keep her alive," Caine growls.
Natalia lifts DNA from the clothes and gets a hit: Marty Ellis. Jill Walsh positively identifies the man as one of the kidnappers. Cue sirens! Hummers! Choppers! The entire Miami police force -- headed by Caine and Eric -- storm the home of Marty Ellis. Alas, the man sits dead in his chair. Gunshot wound.
One excruciatingly long commercial break later, Eric has a theory: the woman kidnapper killed her partner and then took the baby. "If this woman killed her partner, what's to say that she won't kill the baby?" Eric asks. For starters, that would mean an unhappy ending -- something Caine simply will not allow.
At the Walsh house, Calleigh examines a cell phone. It appears that big bro Keith has used it. Indeed, we see a FLASHBACK of Keith intercepting the kidnappers' call on the cell. How the teenager knows how to do this is beyond everyone, especially the viewer. "He's going to pay the ransom," Stuart says. Sure enough, the money is gone from the safe. Also: the boy's motorcycle is missing. Calleigh puts out a call out on the bike.
Montage time. Eric examines the baseball and discovers a substance used in developing pictures. Moments later, Caine questions the Walsh's next-door neighbor, who recently photographed Sophie for the family. "I threw a ball," Brad Garland says. "It was an accident." Turns out Keith is a "problem child" and Brad was trying to teach the kid a lesson.
And we can believe it (for now anyway) because Keith is the middle of being a huge pain in the butt. Eric pulls the hot-headed, bike-riding teen over on a residential street. "I wasn't going to just sit around waiting for my sister to die," the boy says. Unfortunately, Keith has already made the money drop at a nearby park. No baby, though. And no word from the kidnappers. Nice going, junior.
Moments later, Caine arrives at the park. It takes the guy about 20 seconds to find a pacifier in the grass. The baby was here, Eric explains. One montage later, Natalia uncovers a major plot twist: Sophie's DNA doesn't match Stuart Walsh's profile. "He's not her biological father," Ryan explains. "Mrs. Walsh is lying to us."
Caine, sans sunglasses, interrogates Jill Walsh. "It turns out that Stuart is not her biological father," he growls. Jill breaks down. She admits that Sophie's father is none other than Brad Garland -- the photographer! "It just happened one time," she cries. Once, however, is enough.
A few words from our sponsors later, Garland is back in the hot seat. He is shocked (shocked!) to hear that he is Sophie's biological father. "I really hope you find her, I do," he says. "But if you do, they better not come after me for child support." He's a scumbag, for sure, but is he guilty?
Tara, in the meantime, removes the bullet from the dead kidnapper's body. One montage later, Calleigh reports her findings: the bullet matches a casing found at a recent robbery of a jewelry store. The prime suspect: Carla Hoyle. Man oh man, that Calleigh is good. "Same gun fired both bullets," Ryan says.
SMASH CUT to Carla, her face on the pavement and Caine glowering above her. Ryan, meanwhile, finds the gun in Carla's car. "Did you kill her just like you killed your partner?" Caine growls. No. As it turns out, Carla gave the baby to the man who hired her -- Rodrigo Sanchez. We see in a FLASHBACK that Sanchez is the very same man who restrained Jill Walsh from chasing the kidnappers. "He made it look like he was trying to stop the kidnapping," Ryan says. Carla explains that the exchange went down just 15 minutes ago in a nearby park. "Seal off this city," Caine growls. "We've got to find this kid."
A final commercial break mercifully ends. Frank and Natalia search Sanchez's locker at work and find a hidden compartment. Inside, Natalia finds a journal and a picture of Jill and Sophie Walsh. "I think Garland and Rodrigo were in on this together," Natalia theorizes.
Garland is back in the hot seat -- the third time hopefully being the charm. And indeed it is. Garland admits that he knew Sophie was his child. The photographer broke into the house (hence, the baseball) to steal a baby hairbrush -- and perform a home DNA test. Garland then confronted Stuart. "He told me I had no legal right to my child!" Garland said. "I did what I had to do." Ryan breaks the bad news: "Rodrigo never had any intention of bringing Sophie to you." Sanchez, it turns out is AWOL.
Calleigh calls with more bad news: Sanchez's journal reveals that the man was going to sell the baby on the black market. In fact, the potential parents are arriving on a plane from Cape Town that very afternoon!
CUT TO a tarmac. A plane lands and a distinguished couple emerge carrying a sack of cash. They meet Sanchez, who takes the cash. "I can already tell you two will make good parents," he says. Suddenly, Sanchez notices sees an approaching police Hummer. The kidnapper jumps into his SUV and takes off. He speeds down the tarmac with little Sophie in the back seat!
Caine, at the wheel of the Hummer, runs the SUV onto a makeshift ramp. The SUV launches into the air, flips and SMASHES down on its back! A bloodied Sanchez emerges and points a gun at Caine. "Rodrigo," Caine growls before shooting the slimy bastard d-e-a-d.
Now what about Sophie? Caine emerges from the smoke carrying the child, who is apparently -- and quite miraculously considering the violence of the wreck -- completely unharmed. Sometime later, Jill arrives, sobbing. She thanks Caine profusely, but the big man only smiles, his sunglasses hanging loosely around his neck.