Rita first appeared when she crashed through the door of the Sherwood Florist, just as Dinah Lance and Oliver Queen were unpacking and preparing for the store's opening the next day. She was high on crack cocaine and clearly unstable, so Dinah and Ollie got her some medical attention. Dinah went with her to the hospital, where she discovered that Rita was 17 years old, and had been using drugs for nearly two years. Dinah managed to find a connection between Rita's dealer and a man named Jankowski, hoping it would be a major lead to the cocaine trade in the pacific northwest. Rita was later transferred to a detox centre.

Later, Rita would get a job at the local Handee Wash, but soon find herself fired under suspicious circumstances, after witnessing her boss doing something unsavoury - an event which would provide a helpful lead to the Black Canary.