Cindi had a close relationship with her cousin, Derek Morgan. During their childhood, Morgan and his sisters Sarah and Desiree, would spend time with Cindi and her mother Yvonne when their mother went to work. Seven years prior to Big Sea, she learned that someone was stalking her. The stalking became so severe that Cindi had Morgan make a profile of the stalker and track him down. She was advised to flee to Charleston, South Carolina, but her stalker, Malcolm Ford, abducted her there. Over eight years, Malcolm abused Cindi sexually and psychologically, making her believe that "The Company" would kill her and her family if she ever disobeyed him. She was forced to sign a slave contract, and submit to the abuse. Cindi eventually bore a son, Anthony, but he was taken to "The Cabin", where she could only see him if Malcolm allowed her to.
Though she doesn't appear in the episode, she is frequently mentioned. Her case is once again brought up by Yvonne, who believes that Cindi is one of the victims of a serial killer who dumps the bodies of his victims into the ocean off Jacksonville, Florida. By the end of the episode, the killer is apprehended and Morgan interviews him, showing him photos of his victims for positive identification. After identifying the people in the first two photos shown to him, by name, the killer is shown a photo of Cindi. He confirms to having killed her, but he doesn't mention her by name, and Morgan realizes that he is just taunting him and leaves. Feeling that Yvonne needs closure, Morgan lies to her, saying that the killer picked out her picture.
Cindi appears in person in the episode. She is spotted by Desiree on the road in their hometown of Chicago, but Desiree is badly injured in a car accident when she attempts to pursue her. Because of this, she escapes with Malcolm to the house of the Maguires, friends of Malcolm's. The two help him keep her captive until Malcolm is redirected to a convenience store where Cindi goes inside to buy him dinner. Secretly bringing along a revolver belonging to Malcolm, she makes a decision to shoplift a spaghetti package, a brand that she and Morgan once ate as children, to get her cousin's attention. Malcolm catches up with her, having realized she stole his revolver, and the two prepare to leave when the spaghetti package sets off a security alarm, prompting Malcolm to formulate an escape plan. He sets himself up for an arrest by Morgan and Rossi while Cindi runs off to get a lawyer. As a last-ditch effort to visit Anthony, she does so and claims to Morgan that she did it because she loved Malcolm.
Malcolm's ploy is successful and he is released. Before they leave, Yvonne confronts Cindi, but she turns her mother down and reunites with Malcolm, who is pleased with her actions and decides to take her to the Cabin. There, they pick up Anthony and attempt to escape when the BAU and local police arrive. The three hide in the forest and when Morgan ventures inside, alone, Malcolm ambushes him but is easily subdued by the agent. Cindi, seeing an opportunity, grabs Morgan's fallen gun and aims it at Malcolm's head, intending to shoot him, but is talked down by her cousin. Malcolm is then arrested by JJ and Prentiss. Cindi introduces Anthony to Morgan and then has a joyous reunion with Yvonne and Sarah.