|“||You still think she has a chance, huh?||”|
James met Syd Pearson in middle school when the Barrett family moved to Maryland. Though Barrett came from a working-class family and Syd came from a wealthy family, the two became good friends and committed a number of petty crimes together, such as shoplifting, assault, and arson. In 2010, James met Kate Joyce at the jet-ski rental where he worked. They met later on the same day at a party, which James attended along with Syd. When they got up to the hotel room, Syd and Kate had sex. James tried to do the same, but Kate rejected him. Later, the boys left, but James decided to turn back and get revenge on Kate without Syd knowing. He went back to her hotel room under the guise of returning her phone, which had been left in the car, abducted Kate by drugging her, and brought her to the inlet on his boat, where he presumably raped her. He then proceeded to shove her overboard in an area where sharks would be feeding at that time of day because of fisherman dumping their loads. He then took the GPS out of his boat and disposed it in an unspecified way and headed back home.
James is later taken into BAU custody where the BAU and local police interrogate both him and Syd on Kate's location, having suspect the two of them. Because of Syd's behavior at getting off on the attention, they suspect him more and question James lightly. This, however, backfires for him eventually when Hotch notices his body language when he asks him if he knows Kate, in which he says he doesn't. He later agrees to a polygraph and seemingly passes. It is later determined that he passed not because he wasn't guilty, but because he answered the questions honestly as he did not personally kill Kate or know where she is, since her position in the water is currently unknown and it is most likely that she was killed by sharks. However, with Reid's help, they are able to pinpoint her location and rescue her in time to bring her to the hospital. Afterwards, James was arrested and incarcerated for abduction and attempted murder.
James incapacitated Kate by drugging her before bringing her to the inlet in his boat and driving it out to sea. Once he entered an area where sharks fed due to fishermen dumping their loads, he shoved Kate overboard and left her to get eaten. He may have also raped her, given his obsession with her, but this was never confirmed. Unfortunately for him, this method failed, as she was a good swimmer.
No official profile of James was made by the BAU.
Elements of the Kate Joyce case are similar to the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. James also has some resemblance to the main suspect in that case, Joran van der Sloot, as he went back to Kate's room after dropping her off there (just like van der Sloot was believed to have returned to Holloway's room) and later threw her off a boat and into the sea (like van der Sloot claimed to have done to Holloway in a sting video).
- Unspecified dates:
- Unspecified assault case(s)
- A victimless arson
- September 24, 2010: Kate Joyce (abducted and presumably raped, then attempted to kill by feeding to sharks; was rescued three days later)