Angel was born sometime in 1996, growing up with his mother Lupe, with his father apparently out of the picture. At some point prior to his abduction, when neighbors were selling puppies, Angel got one despite Lupe's orders not to do so. During a rainy Tuesday in 2004, he was abducted by J.B. Allen, who held him captive for eight years, all the while raping and torturing him. His puppy, who was with him at the time, was also taken and given to his daughter Samantha as a gift. Angel later dropped out of grade school while he was in second grade as a result of his abduction. Meanwhile, Lupe and neighbors searched around for Angel, but didn't find anything, and Lupe didn't want to alert authorities, otherwise it would result in her leaving the country, presumably because she was an illegal immigrant.
In 2012, Angel found his chance to escape while being transported by Allen. Running across the desert, he stumbles onto the road, where he is found by the Nelsons, a family who pulled their car over when the father became sleepy and needed fresh air. Fearful of strangers and not used to anyone touching him, Angel is initially uncooperative towards Morgan and JJ when they try to appeal to him. Finally, he becomes impressed with Morgan fiddling with a coin he brought along and begins to respond to him. Soon, when JJ asks his name, Angel, not speaking, points to the wings of the eagle engraved on the coin, then to his back to signal what his name is. When Morgan and JJ leave the room, Angel attempts to commit suicide by slashing his wrist with a discarded scalpel, but Morgan and JJ return just in time to save him.
As JJ talks to Lupe, who had been found by Garcia, Morgan allows Angel to keep his coin, which he had been so interested in, before telling him about Carl Buford, a community center owner who molested him in his youth, and how he had been thinking about suicide himself, but never went through with it in the end. Morgan then promises Angel that he will catch his abductor and encourages him to help the investigation. However, Angel is unable to identify his abductor, stating that it had always been "so dark". The BAU are eventually able to identify Allen as Angel's captor through the bite marks he left on Angel. By the episode's conclusion, Allen is captured by the BAU before he can kill his latest captive and is arrested, while Angel reunites with Lupe and embraces her with comfort as Morgan watches.