Ethan is introduced in January 2009 attempting to burglarize the Haunted Star Casino. Owner Luke Spencer catches him, and the two become acquainted; the Australian Ethan explains that he knows thief and con artist Holly Sutton, a former flame of Luke's, and had actually come to town seeking Luke. Ethan reveals that he had never known his biological parents, and that his adoptive parents had died when he was 15; he had subsequently run off, and met Holly in his travels. Ethan secretly carries a photo of Luke and his longtime friend Robert Scorpio, who had been married to Holly. Luke and his wife Tracy Quartermaine suspect that Holly is in fact Ethan's mother, and that Luke may then be his father. A DNA test on May 7, 2009 confirms that Luke and Ethan are not father and son, but Luke suspects that Tracy may have altered the paternity test. Holly returns and eventually reveals that Robert is Ethan's father on May 22, 2009.