When Tyra was a child in Seattle, her older sister Yolanda became a crack addict and would disappear on binges. When Tyra was around 6 years old, Yolanda had a child, Devon. When Devon was six years old, Yolanda overdosed, and he was taken from her and raised by his grandmother, Tyra's mother. Devon has fond memories of baking cookies with his grandmother and celebrating birthday picnics with her at the zoo watching the seals. Tyra's parents were divorced and she went to live with her father. Then when Tyra was 15, Yolanda had another child, Anastasia who Tyra took to raise as her own. Tyra became Ana's mother and had to lie her way through doctor visits and school registrations posing as Yolanda.
After Tyra's mother died, Devon was shuttled from group home to group home. In 2004 Devon was living in a foster home in Genoa City, but was about to be kicked out for bad behavior when he met Lily Winters at the Rec Center where she was volunteering. The Winters family arranged to take him in as their foster child.
Devon ran into his homeless mother living in the Genoa City park. Devon was disturbed to see how raggedy and skinny she was, and told her how well he was doing in school and was living with a rich family now. Devon tried to give her some cash, but she admitted she was still a crack head and would only spend it on her habit. Yolanda encouraged Devon to forget her and his old life and take advantage of what the Winters had to offer him. Devon left the cash on the bench beside her, and said goodbye. But he returned several times to see her, and once saw Yolanda dragged into the police station. Devon tried to talk Yolanda into going into a free state rehab facility. She refused but claimed she was off the drugs. So Devon took her home to the Winters', let her clean up, and she left with Neil's expensive watch. She used the watch to buy enough drugs to overdose, and was found unconscious in the park by Devon. Yolanda recovered and went into rehab. She came to live with the Winters family getting her act together, got a nice job in the Jabot mailroom, then blew it all by coming on to Neil. Neil shot her down and Devon walked in on them. He turned down the offer to leave with her, so she packed and left for her sister Tyra's in Seattle. Devon hasn't been in touch with her for years, but last he knew she was back on drugs and living in Los Angeles. Devon later went deaf at the age of 18 after surviving meningitis but got a cochlear implant.
During a surprise twenty-first birthday party for Lily, Devon's Aunt Tyra and precocious and talented 12-year-old Ana arrived from Seattle. Cane could see they didn't have money for a hotel, so paid for one, but Neil was highly suspicious of their motives for coming to town, especially after they found out Tyra lost her job managing the Pembrooke Inn in Seattle, and was evicted. But Tyra was honest about her circumstances and Neil wanted his son to get to know his real family, so soft-hearted Neil invited them to live at his place until they got back on their feet. As weeks went on, Neil's girlfriend Karen was not pleased with this, and asked Tyra to look for her own place, but Neil nixed the idea. Ana began singing for the family at Neil's club Indigo and then with Devon at the annual charity gala which prompted Kay Chancellor to offer her the annual scholarship for gifted students to a Music School in New Hampshire. Tyra was reluctant to accept because Ana was not really her daughter, but is the daughter of her crack head sister Yolanda, so she was afraid her deception all these years will be exposed. Neil was supportive, and Kay was going to pave the way for Ana to get into the school regardless. Even Devon was unaware that he had a sister. Devon and Ana get along wonderfully as they are both interested in music, writing and singing together. After a brief notion to quit college and launch a singing career, and everyone talking him out of it, Devon changed his major back to music. Tyra left with Ana to New Hampshire.
A few months later Katherine got word that Ana had left her school. Neil and Devon tried to contact them and found Tyra had given up their apartment. Then they both turned up in Genoa City again by train on the way back to Seattle. Tyra told Neil that things just didn't work out in New Hampshire, the rent was too high and pay too low. Neil pointed out that she had nothing to return to in Seattle. Tyra agreed to stay and take back the manager job at Indigo, once Devon offered to share his house with them so they didn't have to impose on Neil and Karen.
In October 2008, Lily went to visit her Aunt Olivia in New York City while she was lecturing there for Doctors Without Borders, and returned to Genoa City with her. Olivia mentioned that her son Nate was now attending Johns Hopkins University Medical School. She was surprised to learn that Neil's current flame Karen was a former patient of hers in New York City. Neil asked Karen to marry him but before she would accept, she explained about her inability to have children. Neil understood and they became engaged. Much as Olivia liked Karen, after meeting Tyra and seeing how much chemistry she and Neil had, she advised Neil that he was marrying the wrong woman. Tyra may have gotten over her attraction to Neil once she started dating Detective Gil Wallace. But Gil spotted Ana on a missing person's bulletin put out by Yolanda, and had to confront them to take Ana to a foster home until her custody can be straightened out. Billy Abbott got his young attorney friend, Rafael Torres, to take the case, but Yolanda has further complicated things by disappearing. Meanwhile Neil renewed his foster care license and he and Karen decided to marry earlier than planned to help them get custody of Ana. Their wedding was held New Year's Eve 2008 at Indigo with Victoria as Matron of Honor and Victor arriving last minute to be Neil's Best Man, with Olivia still hoping Tyra would interrupt the wedding by declaring her love for Neil. Neil and Karen went to court the next day and custody of Ana, but with the restriction that Tyra could only see her during supervised visits. Ana was thrilled to be back with family, but Tyra was crushed.
Karen became so attached to Ana that she wanted to legally adopt her, much to Tyra's opposition. Rafe got the courts to terminate Yolanda's legal rights to Ana, and Tyra celebrated by telling Neil how much she cared for him and kissed him -- which of course Karen secretly witnessed. In retaliation, the next day Karen told Tyra that their adoption of Ana was in the works with Neil's blessing, so Tyra took Ana and attempted to flee Genoa City. Neil found them, thanks to Ana's tipping him by cell phone. When the police arrived, Neil told them that they were there with his permission. When Neil confronted Karen about provoking Tyra to run away, she confronted him about his kiss with Tyra. Karen told him it was time for him to get his priorities straight if he still wanted her in his life, and that meant firing Tyra. Neil agreed, but telling Tyra ended up in a sexual encounter in the middle of the empty Indigo. Devon walked in and saw them and later confronted Neil, asking how this happened and why he was risking his marriage and family. Neil later admitted his sexual encounter with Tyra to Karen who forgave him, afraid that it would hurt their adoption of Ana. But in court Neil convinced the judge to give sole custody of Ana to Tyra because she deserved her after raising Ana so well all these years. Karen was so devastated, she accused Neil of using her to get over Dru, and left him, leaving her wedding ring behind. A week or so later, Tyra ran into Neil at Kay Chancellor's wedding, and they admitted their attraction, but decided to wait to act on it. Karen showed up again at Indigo during the pre-wedding party for Lily and Cane with divorce papers for Neil to sign, catching him dancing with Tyra. He reluctantly signed.
The following day, at Lily and Cane's reception A surprise guest arrived, Devon's Great Aunt Virginia. When they were alone, she told Devon that Tyra was not really related to them, but was taken in as a child when her mother died. Devon confronted Tyra, and Tyra explained to Neil who walked in on them arguing. Devon left saying he was through with the both of them and their lies. Devon was having sexual fantasies about Tyra yet whenever they were around each other he would attack her for breaking up Karen and Neil. In the middle of an argument, Devon and Tyra fell into each other's arms and had sex on the couch at their place. Roxanne walked in on them, and later returned with Devon's things from her place and broke it off. Devon, feeling guilty, admitted to his father what happened between him and Tyra. Neil was livid when Tyra later arrived to apologize, and she left promising that Ana would still visit her family.