This week's episode of "CSI: Miami" resonates with Eva LaRue in a more personal way than most.
The episode is inspired by a story that involves LaRue's sister, Nika, who guest stars as a TV reporter. The storyline is based on serial killer William Bradford, who used to be an amateur photographer. Recently, LaRue found out that he had taken photos of Nika when she was younger.
"I got a phone call from my sister at work and she got a phone call from a friend who said, 'We are watching the news and they are blanketing the networks right now with the pictures of 50-some girls and there's a picture that looks a little bit like you with this Bill Bradford,' " LaRue told The Early Show co-anchor Rene Syler. "We knew nothing about him. Absolutely nothing. So she said go on MSNBC.com and pull up the pictures."
Sure enough, LaRue saw pictures of her sister and the Web site listed her as missing. She called the Los Angeles County sheriff's office to report that her sister is fine.
"They went to her house the following week and had more than 130 pictures they had confiscated from (Bradford's) house of her and all these other women," she said. "But the majority of the 130 pictures they had of her were him following her around drinking out of a water fountain, fixing her shoe — stalkerish pictures. Some of them were posed and that she was aware of, and the other ones where he followed her around the park were not."
Her sister was stunned by the realization that she was a possible Bradford target. LaRue said Nika felt badly that she couldn't provide police with more information about the convicted murderer who has been in jail since 1988.
LaRue found out that Miami had received a $14 million cold case grant and one of the cases they reopened was the Bradford case because police thought many young missing women might be connected to him.
Ironically, on the show, LaRue plays Natalie, a cold case investigator who isn't quite embraced by the other characters.
"They don't trust me or like me," she said. "I am trying to earn back some brownie points this year."
At the end of last season, she feared that her character would be written off the script and called her manager crying. The audience is also undecided about Natalie, she said, but at least there is harmony behind the scenes. La Rue said the cast has so much fun together, she sometimes feels like they belong on a sitcom rather than a crime drama.
In addition to her acting, LaRue is very involved in raising awareness about ovarian cancer, which killed both her grandmother and great-grandmother.
"It's the most deadly of all reproductive diseases," she said. "It's usually detected late stage. There's no cervical pap smear, a mammogram, nothing you can do until late stages. So, if you find a distended abdomen or pain or swelling and a couple of times a month you feel ... more than achy and it lasts for more than two weeks, see a doctor and be persistent. A lot of times it goes misdiagnosed and undiagnosed and 20,000 women will get it and 15,000 women will die."
You can watch "CSI: Miami" tonight at 10 p.m., 9 p.m. central on CBS.