Cold Case Wiki
Charlotte Bayes 1990
Charlotte in 1990
Charlotte Bayes 2003
Charlotte in 2003
Charlotte Bayes
Portrayed by Isabella Hoffman
Episode Churchgoing People
Status Arrested

Charlotte Bayes was seemingly a loving mother, wife, and faithful member of the congregation at St Anthony's Episcopal Church in Roxborough, where her husband Mitchell played the organ. Yet behind the façade, Charlotte harbored a dark side.


Charlotte was a controlling and abusive alcoholic towards her family. When drunk, she would yell at her children, Ryan and Tina, for hours and hit her husband, though he never hit her back. As a result of this, Charlotte and Mitch had separate bedrooms, with Mitch unable to sleep unless his bedroom door was locked with multiple locks. Charlotte favored Ryan over Tina and even her husband.

One night in 1990, Ryan had a date to go to his high school dance, and Charlotte insisted on teaching him how to dance before driving him there, while Mitch drove Tina to a sleepover. After Mitch left, the phone rang and Ryan answered it, only to be told in no uncertain terms by the caller, Mr. Enright, from their church, that Mitch was having an affair with his wife Judy, and that the two were at a motel that very minute. Mr. Enright went on to call Mitch a "cheating sinner". Afterward, Charlotte guilted Ryan into skipping his date to stay home with her, and proceeded to get drunk.

When Mitch returned home, his clothing wet from the rain, he chastised Charlotte for making Ryan miss his date. Charlotte slurred out that apparently they both had had dates. For once, Mitch stood up to Charlotte and offered to drive Ryan to the dance once he changed into dry clothes, stating that no teenage boy wants to stay at home on Saturday night with his mother. This enraged Charlotte, who insisted that Ryan did want to be with her, unlike Mitch who'd rather be sneaking around with "cheap Christmas trash" like Judy Enright. As Mitch went upstairs to change, Charlotte followed him, hissing the entire time, ordering her husband not to walk away from her. She grabbed a fireplace poker as she stumbled up the stairs. In a fit of rage, Charlotte swung the poker into a large mirror adorning the upstairs hallway, which shattered and startled Mitch, who unsuccessfully attempted to slam the door to his bedroom on her. Charlotte then stabbed Mitch to death with the poker while a horrified Ryan watched. She slurred out for her son to get the van once she was done.

With Ryan's help, Charlotte dumped the van and Mitch's body in Kensington, a rough area of town frequented by prostitutes, a fact that Ryan knew from driving around with his friend, Tom Walsh, to look at them. Under Charlotte's coercion, Ryan also staged the scene to look like a solicitation gone bad, with his friend Tom's porno magazines scattered through the van along with some discarded crack vials found in the alley.

The following morning, a sober Charlotte played the part of the respectful wife on her way to church when Detective Gil Sherman notified the family that Mitch's body had been found. She claimed not to understand why he was found in Kensington and insisted that Mitch didn't use prostitutes. Despite doing a poor job staging the scene, Charlotte wasn't immediately caught, and the case went cold.


13 years later in late 2003, Charlotte is now an aging woman suffering from Alzheimer's. Estranged from Tina for many years, she is cared for by Ryan, who thinks of her as a burden and frequently lets her wander away. One such time, Charlotte is found by a patrolman in the cemetery where Mitch was buried, clutching his obituary in her hand and muttering about him, still in her nightgown. She is taken into custody for 'disturbing the peace', and piques the interest of homicide detective Lilly Rush, who is called down to see her by the patrolman who wants to cover all the bases concerning the murder victim Charlotte keeps muttering about. Lilly realizes Charlotte's memory is fading, and decides to reopen the case while she still has something to offer as a witness, much to Ryan's dismay as he'd rather let the case stay cold.

Lilly and the rest of the homicide unit, along with the original assigned detective Gil slowly put the pieces together, reuniting Tina with her mother and brother along the way. Tina is hopeful to prove that her father wasn't involved with prostitutes, but recoils when she finds out that Ryan is the prime suspect. With Tina's reluctant help, and Lilly's prodding, Charlotte relives shouting at Ryan while staging the scene. Lilly is now convinced that Ryan killed his father and his doting mother covered it up for him. After Ryan's arrest, he reveals the truth behind the outward facade of his nice, churchgoing family and confused, scared, invalid mother, much to everyone's surprise, stating, "You didn't see her in her prime." Charlotte is arrested and led to the same cell Lilly had earlier released her from, while Ryan and Tina reunite and comfort each other.

Known Victims[]