Basic information about Dr. Tara Price
Tara Price was the Medical Examiner who replaced Alexx Woods in season seven of CSI: Miami after the previous coroner, Shannon Higgins had been killed. In the episode Dissolved she was arrested for felony theft, burglary and tampering with evidence.
Tara Price’s character development throughout the season 7
Won’t Get Fueled Again
Tara first appeared as the replacement for murdered coroner Shannon Higgins (the original replacement for the departed Alexx Woods). Tara’s first job was to examine the body of a burnt man on a beach. Eric later met her in the lab and thought she was cute, which he discussed with Horatio.
Eric and Ryan switched out the body of a victim for a fake dummy, and attach it to a wire. When Tara walked in, Eric lifted the body up through a remote in the observation deck. Tara, not seeing Eric, thinks the body is moving on its own and freaks out. She yells at Eric when he reveals the prank, and later snaps at Ryan when she takes their crime scene photos to recreate the body’s original position to determine the weapon used. Calleigh helps Tara recreate the body position, and reassures her that it’s not personal, that they just like to play a prank on the newbie. She informs Tara of when Ryan was new and Calleigh and Eric sent him to his first autopsy, only to find a headless body.
Tara joined the team to investigate a homicide where the victim was hung from a gazebo. While working the crime scene, the architecture collapsed on Tara, injuring her shoulder. Later that day, Horatio convinced Tara to hire his son, Kyle, as an intern in the morgue to protect him from the erratic behavior of his mother, Julia Winston. A bottle of oxycodone subsequently went missing from a car accident victim. Julia was instantly suspected of stealing them, even by Kyle, after she visited him on his first day, giving her the apparent opportunity to take them. At the end of the episode, Tara was seen putting the pills into her pocket. In a later episode, Kyle witnesses her popping a pill into her mouth while examining a body – he confronts her about it and she defensively replies,
“I don’t have to explain myself to you, Kyle.”
A bomb goes off in the autopsy, she frantically tries to pick up the scattered pills which had fallen out of her pocket and onto the floor as a result of the blast. Ryan notices this, and he suspects she’s hooked. He tells her to “kick it” because he
“won’t be able to cover for her next time.”
However, she wasn’t able to “kick it” and as such, eventually destroyed her own career as an M.E while also getting herself arrested.
Ryan caught her imbibing pills while working, and again urged her to come forward and seek help. She refused and Ryan reminded her of his warning about what would happen if he caught her again. After more false assurances by her, she went back to work while Ryan called Horatio to inform him that she (and consequently, they) had a serious problem.
Horatio and Ryan got a search warrant for her workplace locker where they discovered a bag of pill bottles containing multiple prescriptions for oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, buprenorphine and possibly other opioids stolen from morgue intake. Ryan went to the morgue and matched the prescription bottles’ names to the corpses’ tags. Dr. Price saw him do this and their eyes locked. Before either of them could say anything, Julia Winston, suffering a psychotic break, fired a shot and demanded her son leave with her.
Later, after the shooting was resolved with no casualties, Ryan tells Dr. Price in the autopsy room that they are wanted by Internal Affairs, supposedly to get their depositions after the incident in the morgue involving the dangerously un-medicated Winston. Both knew, however, that it was in reference to Dr. Price directly although neither of them acknowledged this. As she left the morgue, she turned and looked back into the room, knowing she would never be back.
Meeting with IAB Sgt. Rick Stetler, she was told what they knew, including the framing of Julia Winston and the consequent precipitation of the chain of events that ended with the shooting in the morgue. Dr. Price was arrested for felony theft, burglary and tampering with evidence. As she got up to be handcuffed she said Ryan’s name, desperate for help. In both regret and resignation, he replied that:
“I gave you every opportunity Tara.”
As the police took her into custody in her blue scrubs, Eric Delko and Wolfe watched her go. As she was led into the elevator, Tara looked at them in both a final plea for help and shame, alternately making and avoiding eye contact as the elevator door closed.