At one time, Ellen's father Orion Hawk had worked for Stefano DiMera, and had trained John Black in the martial arts. Ellen had an affair with Stefano, but once she and Orion had learned his true nature, she and Orion had fled, taking her son Benjy (who also happened to be Stefano's son). After Kayla and Steve 'found' her son Benjy in the Orient on their honeymoon and took him home with them, Ellen and her father Orion came to Salem. Ellen was trying to get her son back from Steve and Kayla, and also attempting to elude Roman, who had recognized her from the past. Before she could get Benjy back, she was found dead on the docks. It was later revealed that Stefano had arranged her death in an attempt to gain possession of his son.