Chad appeared in Salem on June 19, 2009 when he showed up at the Java Cafe looking for his ex-girlfriend, Mia. He wanted to reconcile with her, but Mia immediately refused. Not wanting to take no for an answer, Chad transferred high schools as well as got a job at the Java Cafe so he could spend more time with Mia, despite her discomfort over the entire situation.
Prior to his arrival, sometime in 2008, Chad and Mia had had a sexual relationship which produced a daughter born on January 26, 2009 (whom Mia gave to Nicole Walker to raise and whom Nicole subsequently switched with Sami Bradyís daughter thus Sami raised Miaís baby named Grace, while Nicole raised Samiís baby named Sydney). But, Chad had no idea that Mia was ever pregnant because his parents had sent him to military school because of his troublesome behavior which included drug use. When Chad returned and Mia rejected his reconciliation, he quickly became suspicious of the time they spent apart.
Chad went searching for answers. His friend Kinsey informed him that Mia was in rehab while he was away. Chad knew Mia wouldnít do drugs as he had tried to coax into doing so on several occasions and she always turned him down. Mia lied and tried to assure him she was a recovering addict to ensure he didnít find out about the baby, but he still held his doubt. On Miaís behalf, Nicole posed as her sponsor and had a conversation with Chad. She warned him not to upset Mia as she was truly in recovery. Chad agreed to back off, but remained suspicious of Miaís story.
By August, Chad decided to up his plan to get Mia back. He teamed up with Kinsey, who wanted Maiís boyfriend Will all to herself. But their plan break up Will and Mia did not work. Still, Chad knew that Mia was lying about the rehab story, so he stayed close to her in hopes of overhearing something that would let him in on the truth.
One day he overheard Mia talking to Brady Black about "the baby". Chad demanded that Mia tell him everything. She confirmed to him that she had a baby -- his baby -- and that baby was now living with Nicole and E.J. DiMera. Chad went to EJ and demanded his daughter back, but EJ refused. On many occasions afterward, Nicole attempted to convince Chad that ďhisĒ baby would be better with her and E.J. Mia also tried to convince Chad of that, but he wanted custody of his child.
Finally, after months of back and forth, the devastating truth was revealed Ė Nicole had switched the babies and the baby Chad had with Mia, Grace, was dead. Chad and Mia were both crushed as well as appalled by Nicoleís actions. Together, they mourned for their daughter, which drew them closer together.
Although still mourning for Grace, Chad became optimistic that he and Mia would reunite. Despite the fact she was still dating Will, Mia encouraged Chadís hopes by accepting his invitation to Salem Highís 2009 winter dance. The problem was she had already accepted Willís invitation too. Chad was upset when he learned the truth and decided to move on with his life, without Mia. He then began dating Gabi Hernandez.
Chad and Gabi would find little peace thanks to a jealous Mia. Ignoring his relationship with Gabi, Mia began to play dirty and tried to win Chad back, all the while lying to him that she and Will Ė who had become exclusive Ė were about to break up. Mia cited that Will was going through a hard time and she would dump him as soon as he was in a better place. Although he cared for Gabi, he loved Mia and broke things off with Gabi to pursue things with Mia once again. Gabi, however, knew Mia was lying, and soon Chad discovered that too. He promptly broke up with Mia.
Although not officially a couple, Chad and Gabi began to spend time with each other once again. Things became a little strained for them when Chadís father, Charles, was attacked on the pier. Charles blamed Gabiís brother Rafe, but she remained adamant he didnít do it. When Chad questioned his fatherís accusations Charles verbally tore into Chad, stating, among other insults, that he should have left him in boarding school. Chad was deeply hurt by his fatherís harsh words, but was comforted by his mother, Madeline.
A short time later, Chad became intrigued by his motherís connection to Kate Roberts-DiMera. He had noticed them exchanging heated glances, but Madeline tried to assure Chad she simply has contempt for the DiMeras, a family of lifelong criminals, and didnít want his involvement with them to hurt the Petersen-Woodsís good name. Chad became more skeptical of his motherís story when she acted irrationally towards him going to a study group at Will Hortonís, who was now living at the DiMera mansion. The group later met at the Java Cafť instead, and Chad and Will began to bond over the secret Kate and Madeline shared.
Unfortunately, Chad found out Madelineís secret, but was hardly ready for what she told him. She turned to prostitution to pay her way through law school. He was furious with his mother and the two got into a heated argument on the pier. As Madeline tried to explain, Chad walked away. She followed him up the stairs, but, when he tried to get away from, she fell.
While barely clinging to life, Madeline told Chad that she lied for him Ė everything she did was for him. She was rushed to the hospital where she later died. As it turned out, Madeline suffered from hypertension as well as aneurysms and one in her brain had ruptured causing her death. Chad was a wreck with guilt and sadness, and it didnít help that Charles blamed him. Kate, however, knew she held Chadís future in her handsí by holding the key to Madelineís secret-that Stefano was Chad's biological father.
When Stefano and Chad found out about their relationship, Chad was skeptical to join the DiMera family. But, Stefano kept trying. Eventually, Chad took the job with DiMera Enterprises and moved into the DiMera mansion. Neither move went over well with his girlfriend, Abigail.
Eventually Chad got caught at the wrong place in the wrong time. During a feud between the DiMeras and the Kiriakises, Chad was shot in the chest. He recovered, but realized that being so close to the family was not a good idea. He quit his job and moved out of the mansion. He focused on Abigail and his friends, Sonny, Will, Melanie, and Gabi.
Chad, Will, and Sonny decided to start a website together that covered sports at their school - SalemSportsFan.com. The site was a big hit and soon they began discussing how to monetize it. However, one day Chad noticed some suspicious activity going on in the chat rooms. Someone was using their chat room to post odds for an illegal gambling ring. Worried that the could go to jail, the boys decided to shut down the website.
But, the men behind the gambling ring were not happy. They kidnapped Chad and Melanie and held them hostage until Will and Sonny got the site back up. Terrified that they were going to die, Chad and Melanie confessed their true feelings for each other and shared a kiss. When they were rescued, Melanie told Chad that it was a mistake and they couldn't hurt Abigail by being together.
But, the damage to the relationship had already been done. Abigail began to have feelings for someone else and Chad knew that his feelings for Melanie weren't going away. On New Year's Eve, Chad and Abigail mutually decided to end their relationship. Chad told Melanie about the break-up, but Melanie was still worried about how Abigail would feel. When Abigail saw Chad and Melanie talking, Abigail knew that something was going on between them and was furious with both of them. Melanie told Chad that they can't be together until Abigail forgave them. Abigail was angry for a while, but finally decided that Chad and Melanie would make a good match. Chad and Melanie started dating.
Chad also got some attention from another woman, Kate DiMera, who cast him as a model in one of her cosmetic ads. Gabi Hernandez appeared along side him in the pictures. Their close photo shoots led to Gabi developing feelings for Chad. Gabi schemed to get rid of Melanie by planting an earring in Chad's bed during a platonic visit to Chad's apartment. However, Chad asked Gabi to explain the earring to Melanie. Chad and Melanie continued on their happy relationship.
But, Gabi's obsession grew. She hired a photography assistant, Andrew, to pose as her stalker. Chad asked Gabi to move in with him and Melanie for Gabi's safety. But, Andrew spiraled out of control and kidnapped Melanie and held her hostage. When Gabi found out, she was horrified. But, she still believed that she could get Chad to fall for her. So, she told Andrew to keep Melanie.
Andrew sent an email to Chad from Mel's phone saying that she was going to visit her mom in Europe. Chad didn't think much of it. But, when Melanie didn't return Chad's calls, he got worried. Chad soon discovered that Mel didn't go to Europe. The police began looking for Melanie. They tracked her to Andrew's house. But, Gabi warned Andrew that the police were coming. So, Andrew hid with Melanie under the tunnels of Salem. When the police arrived and his house, Gabi faked like she had been drugged and the police assumed that Gabi was a victim too.
Melanie was able to get hold of Andrew's phone and call Chad. Gabi was standing right next to him and encouraged him to go down and look for her while she called the cops. Chad agreed. But, rather than call the police, Gabi went searching for Andrew too. She found him and Melanie first. Just as Andrew was going to tell Melanie about Gabi's involvement with the scheme, there was a huge explosion in the tunnels. Andrew seemed to get away. Melanie and Gabi were eventually connected with Chad and Brady and the four made it out of the tunnels.
Andrew was retrieved and brought to the hospital. With his dying breath, he promised Gabi that Chad would find out what she did. Chad overheard the conversation and ripped into Gabi. He didn't want to burden Melanie with the news that Gabi betrayed her, but he told Gabi to move out of the country and leave them alone. He turned his attention towards helping Melanie.
A few days later, Melanie learned that Nick Fallon, another of her former stalkers, was up for parole. Chad urged Melanie to testify against Nick. When Melanie couldn't bring herself to do so, Chad vowed to protect Melanie. He proposed to her and she accepted.
When Melanie learned that Nick would have to remain in Salem as a condition of his parole, Chad was horrified. Chad would worry if he couldn't get a hold of Melanie during the day. One day, Melanie met and talked with Nick, and the two made their peace. However, Melanie accidentally left her scarf behind. Nick put it in his pocket to give back to her later. And, Chad saw Nick with Melanie's scarf, Chad thought that Nick had done something to Melanie. Chad attacked and beat Nick.
Gabi broke up the fight. Horrified that Nick was hurt, Gabi confessed to Melanie that she hired Andrew to pretend to be Gabi's stalker. Gabi also told Melanie that Chad knew about it since Andrew's death and was keeping it from Melanie. Melanie ripped into Gabi and ordered her to leave. Then, Melanie turned her anger towards Chad. She broke up with him and decided to leave Salem. Additionally, Nick blackmailed Chad into singing a document that forbade Chad from testifying against Gabi's part in Melanie's kidnapping. If Chad were to talk, Nick would turn Chad in for assault.
Chad was furious with Gabi and went to E.J. to ask for help making her pay. Chad told E.J. the whole story. E.J. looked into getting the legal document that Chad signed voided, but was not successful. E.J. promised Chad that the time for revenge would come. Kristen, who had recently returned to town, echoed that sentiment as well. But, she urged Chad to wait until he could think a bit more logically about his revenge.
The time for revenge came when Chad overheard Gabi talking to her doctor about Nick not being the father of her baby. Because of his new relationship with Abigail, Gabi's maid of honor, Chad was invited to Nick and Gabi's wedding. Chad stood up during the ceremony and announced that Nick was not the father of Gabi's baby. Rafe tried to attack Chad for making Gabi upset. Hope arrested Chad for disturbing the peace and Chad was escorted out. Abigail was furious with Chad and ended their relationship.
What Chad didn't know was that Will was the father of Gabi's baby. Sonny asked Chad to explain the outburst at the wedding. Chad admitted that he had no idea that Will was the father, but that Chad had a score to settle with Gabi because of her role in masterminding a scheme that got Melanie kidnapped. Chad also told Sonny that Nick blackmailed Chad into never saying anything and asked Sonny to keep the secret. Sonny agreed. Chad also apologized to Will and the two began to rebuild their friendship.
With his friendships back in place, Chad focused his attention on rebuilding his relationship with Abigail. The task proved to be more difficult because Abigail had began dating Cameron, Lexie's maternal half-brother. Because of his respect for Lexie, Chad backed off. When Abigail came to Chad for help getting Cameron out of a jam, Chad agreed and helped. But the additional time they spent together made Chad's feelings grow stronger.
Chad was honest with Cameron about his feelings for Abigail. The two decided to let Abigail decide which one she wanted. Abigail was torn and spent time with both of them while trying to make her decision.
Chad was also building a relationship with his siblings, E.J. and Kristen. He was happy for E.J. when E.J. and Sami got engaged. One day he saw Sami getting into a fight with someone. He thought it was comical, so he video taped in thinking he could use it at a gag reel for her birthday. But, the man she was fighting with turned out to be Detective Bernardi, the man she would later shoot in defense of Rafe. Chad didn't know this and shared the video with E.J. and Sonny. E.J. was worried and asked the boys to keep it a secret. They agreed. But, Sonny forgot that he'd shared the video with Adreinne, who did not like Sami, nor the fact that Sonny was dating Will. Adreinne took the video to the police. They arrested Sami and charged her with first degree murder.
Abigail also happened to see the video while looking over Chad's shoulder. Chad convinced Abigail to keep quiet about it. Chad and Abigail kept spending time together, including the Fourth of July celebration. While swimming, Chad hit his head on a rock. Abigail and Cameron insisted that Chad get checked out. Cameron performed some tests and then sent Chad to a specialist. Chad told Cameron that he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Chad ordered Cameron to keep quiet about it.
Chad moved forward with his life, including redecorating and rebranding the coffee shop he owned with Sonny to a new night club in town, Club TBD.
Due to Chad's "condition," Cameron backed off Abigail. Chad moved forward with her, taking her on several dates. When Abigail had trouble with her family, she leaned on Chad for support and their relationship became serious. They ended up sleeping together.
Cameron was upset when he found out. He thought that Chad should tell Abigail about the brain tumor. But, it turned out that Chad didn't have a brain tumor. He had used it as an excuse to get Cameron to back off. But Chad had to keep up the lie. So he researched treatments online and passed the information off as his own. E.J. discovered Chad's secret and used it to blackmail Chad into moving back into the mansion, but got Cameron to back off from asking any more questions about Chad's treatment.
On the night of Sami and E.J.'s engagement party, for which Chad served as best man, Marge Bernardi came into the party and tried to shoot E.J. Chad jumped in front of the gun and took the bullet. When Chad was rushed to surgery, E.J. was forced to tell Cameron that Chad didn't have a brain tumor and was not on any type of treatment drugs. Cameron was mad at Chad and urged him to tell Abigail the truth.
While Chad's surgery was a success, the doctors found an abnormality with Chad's heart that required immediate surgery. The best doctor was in Boston, so Stefano made plans to fly to Boston with Chad for the second surgery. Before he left Chad came clean with Abigail. She broke up with him, deciding that this wasn't the best time for them to be together.
After his surgery, he called E.J. to tell him that the surgery was a success, but to let Abigail know that he wouldn't be coming back to Salem.