Cold Case Wiki
David Lake in 1992
David in 1992
David Lake in 2004
David in 2004
David Lake
Portrayed by Jade Carter (1992)
Blake Robbins (2004)
Episode Late Returns
Status Alive

David Lake was the secret boyfriend and killer of Vanessa Prosser.


Having met as workers of the 1992 Democratic campaign, David and Vanessa became romantically involved, with David giving her the affectionate nickname "V". However, David was dealing with a dark secret that held their relationship back: he was sexually abused by his older sister Abbey when they were teenagers and she still had control over him.

This ultimately led David to break up with Vanessa, leaving her confused and looking for answers. She discovered that David regularly sent checks to a man, that being Marvin in Redding, David's childhood home. She traveled there and encountered Marvin Dobie, David and Abbey's mother's ex boyfriend and he revealed the abuse to Vanessa. Vanessa went back to Philadelphia the final night of the campaign to patch things up with David. She found him in the staircase and told him she knew what Abbey did to him, and it was okay, that they could move past it. Vanessa went to touch David's chest, but then David had flashbacks of Abbey touching him, leading him to push Vanessa down the stairs on a reflex. Vanessa ended up hitting her head on a metal bar, and since she was a hemophiliac, she bled out instantly.

David, full of tears and regret, went over to Vanessa's lifeless body and tried to wake her up. Realizing she was gone, David called Abbey for help. Then, they stuffed Vanessa's body in the trunk of Abbey’s car and dumped her in a river.

Despite feeling contrite over killing Vanessa, David went on to have a successful political career and was a member of the U.S. Congress by 2004. Since Abbey falsely confessed to killing Vanessa (but truthfully admitted to killing her biological father, Darren Kleeman) and the police commissioner ordered the detectives to leave him alone, David couldn't be arrested for Vanessa's murder. However, he ended up confessing off the record to detective Scotty Valens.