Jesse, Eric and Natalia arrived on call to a crime scene at the Delgado Hotel. Dispatch noted it as a double homicide. Detective Tripp, and his new partner, Detective Parker, were awaiting CSI's arrival to process the scene. The murder was said to be a drive-by, the boyfriend was bounty and the girlfriend was collateral damage. But that was the words of an eye-witness, currently unknown to Detective Parker.
It was just the three of them. Calleigh and Walter were investigating a rape case in the Coral Gables with Horatio. Ever since Ryan's disappearance, tensions had been high. Theories as to what happened to the young CSI surfaced as the newest topic of the break room gossip. It had affected everyone. Knowing that they'd been unable to locate him, and he could be dead outside the boarders for all they know.
"You guys take the inside, I've got it here." Jesse told Eric and Natalia.
The two shrugged at one another, heading into the hotel reception. Natalia and Eric's partnership overall was great, although, his romance with Calleigh had noticeably distanced them more and more. It was only yesterday Boa Vista had taken some initiative and invited him to dinner. He accepted her invitation, knowing that Calleigh was taking some time to deal with her personal things.
Eric had needed time with Natalia. Any sign that they weren't on bad terms anymore. A part of him carried this guilt, like he had wanted to tell her something but still couldn't remember what it was. "Hey Eric, you got an envelope?"
Natalia pursed her lips, stepping back from the body. Beside her was a clearly used condom. Delko bashfully glanced away at Natalia. He reached into his kit and got out the envelope she wanted. "Here ya go."
"Thanks." She unwittingly picked it up and quickly slid it inside. She could hear it do so, giving her the urge to gag at the noise it made.
Safety was something she recommended, however, that wasn't the most flattering thing to pick up in the middle of a hotel lobby. And there was no notable reason for the victim to have it on- well, beside her.
"Guys c'mon! It's a condom, not something worse!" Jesse called to them.
Both Boa Vista and Delko shook their heads. "Next time, I want the outside." Natalia protested. Eric inwardly chuckled at her. They proceeded to process the scene, finding multiple rounds amongst the shards of broken glass from the windows. Parker had mentioned that an eye-witness said it was gang drive-by but he was unavailable to make a public statement at the moment.
He had argued with his lawyer. The guy didn't want to hinder the case because he couldn't give his full statement. He was a police officer too, and being unable to share important information could potentially make the case harder to solve. Protective custody for a month had been anything but exciting. They made him dye his hair, wear a cap and go by an alias when out and around.
The quicker they had more information on the car, the better.
Detective Tripp thought he saw the witness before but nothing was registering. His height was one thing, along with his dress sense and strong accent yet it just wouldn't add up. Everything about him was distinctively vague.
"Will we be able to talk to the eye-witness?" Jesse questioned, picking up the dispensed shell casings within the fewer glass shards outside the hotel.
Detective Parker flipped over the page in her notepad. Everybody knew that an eyewitness statement is the one thing that could give them their best chance at finding a lead in a situation like this. People he recognized, a number plate, car make/model.. anything that could be of use. Cardoza wasn't sure what would be decided but he was the one person who would be able to crack their case.
"Cardoza, you might wanna take a look at this.." Tripp said.
The oldest CSI grabbed his kit, following Frank around to the side of the hotel. There was smear of blood with a Polaroid stuck into it.
'TOO BAD YOUR STREET NARCO EXPERT ISN'T AROUND' it read, underneath with the symbol of a gang. Maybe Ryan would've known. He had that kind of street knowledge from his time on patrol. Jesse had also been on patrol, but it was quite before Ryan's time. And Miami was a whole other city back then. It was in it's prime.
Nor Frank or Jesse knew who the phrased sentence was aimed at, but it was most certainly a cop. The blood would give them DNA. Something about the neatness of the smear just baffles him. Nobody loses blood like that. It's irregular, unparalleled.. unique. It had to have been painted on. There was no other explanation for it.
"Tom's here for the bodies- what the hell is this?"
In all his days as a CSI, Eric had never seen blood used as glue to send a message. "A warning, apparently.." Jesse sighed.
At the other crime scene, Horatio had received a phone call. He made sure Calleigh had everything under control and left to take the call. There was nothing the lieutenant had said before he escorted himself out to suggest what it was about.
Simmons and Duquesne looked at each other confusedly.
"Do you think it's about Wolfe?" Walter asked lowly.
Calleigh just shook her head, carefully folding up the sheets and slotting them into evidence bags. With all that happened it was hard for her to believe anything said about her former case partner. She felt guilty that his disappearance had been the one thing that the team hadn't been able to solve. It was the worst thing knowing that he was out there.. but there was nobody that would tell them where.
Word was that he'd been picked up by feds after escaping a kidnapping, though there was little proof to support the theory. The last time she heard from him was the day he went missing. He told her that he was heading out of Dade County and into Miami City. She had wanted to borrow a shirt, in which he'd been more than happy to lend her. Everything had been as usual. Calleigh locked up his condo after she found what she was looking for and continued her day.. then it's said that he is missing 12 hours later.
She had tried to remember anything distinctive that he'd said that day, but nothing other than heading past the county lines to venture into the mains. The blonde still thought about it all the time. Wondering where he was, and if he was alright.
"Oh.. I'm sorry I brought him up."
"No, no.. it's fine. I'm just a little tired, that's all." Calleigh immediately said.
They had a rape to focus on. Woman, 29, is attacked in her condo whilst asleep. No condom in the wastebasket, piece of paper in the toilet bowl and evidence that won't fit together until processed.
Calleigh always expected a childish remark that never came. Sometimes she wished that she had told him not to go. Not having him around had been something she wasn't accustomed to. The guy worked his ass off. That's when she too was convinced Horatio had news on their friend. It had to be.
Simmons thought he'd seen the shirt Calleigh was wearing before. It was slightly oversized, but she tucked it in and it went perfectly with her white slacks. Ryan's shirt. "You and him were close, right?"
"Used to be close. It's been full of ups and downs after he was kidnapped.."
Calleigh's phone went off. She stood up, leaving Walter to bag the rest of the things whilst she checked her phone. The ballistics expert had expected another voicemail, callout or page.. but it was none of those. Instead, it was a message. One written in simple words from Eric: Wolfe's back.
Her heart rate shot up as soon as she read it. "Oh my God.."