Season 7 ended when the CSI team caught the miniature killer, Natalie. As her last miniature, she planned an attack on Sara, as a way for her to get back at Grissom for leading the only man (her adopted father) she ever trusted to suicide. Sara’s disappearance forced Grissom to admit their relationship out in the open.
As a clue, Natalie made another miniature that displayed a car wreck in the desert, with a miniature of Sara under it. The season opens as the team searches for Sara and Grissom, while studying the miniature, discovers that she only has a few hours left before she drowns when the rain floods up under the wrecked car.
As the rain continues to poor, water under the wreck car fills up, while Sara tries to get out from under the car without any success. The CSI team discovers Natalie’s car and tracked down its GPS system to determine which locations she went recently.
Down at the station, Sophia Curtis and Jim Brass led Hodges to swab Natalie for DNA and trace because she has wounds on her scalp. Natalie is experiencing all the signs of a psychotic breakdown – delusions, hallucinations, which could last days or months.
Upon receiving the surveillance tapes from where Sara was abducted, Grissom learned that Natalie used a stun gun to bring Sara down.
(In a flashback scene) Natalie drives the car, while Sara is locked in the compartment.
Brown investigates the car and discovers that Sara climbed her way up to the backseat of the car from the compartment. The scene suggests a fight between Sara and Natalie.
Sara attacks Natalie while driving and jumps out of the car. She was left on the dessert without any energy to fight back. Natalie tied her up again as they drove to another location. Sara was drugged and slowly loses consciousness. She woke up to find out that Natalie was placing down a car on her, pushing her arms to the ground.
While checking out Natalie’s apartment, Stokes found a clue written on the wall – a contact number of Desert Diamond Auto Yard. Jim Brass immediately went to interrogate the crew of the auto yard to find out that Natalie asked them to tow a red convertible. The man from the auto yard gave directions to the desert site and rescue teams along with Grissom’s CSI located the red car.
Upon reaching the car, Stokes and Grissom dug up the dried sand where Sara was supposed to be. They discovered that Sara was able to climb out of the car when the rain got high enough for her arms loosen from the car’s weight and swim her way out.
Now without the rain, Sara is trying to search for help while walking through the deep and wide desert of Las Vegas. She is dehydrated, disoriented and tries to leave clues behind for the team to follow. She eventually collapses on the ground.
As Stokes and Sophia roamed through the roads of the desert, Stokes’ attention was caught by a glare in the middle of nowhere. As a survivor that Sara is, she brought along a side mirror of the red convertible to signal for help. Without a pulse, Sara is treated by paramedics and brought to the nearest hospital in a helicopter, with Grissom by her side. Sara eventually regains consciousness to the sight of Grissom’s name on his vest.