Tara is a runaway from Colorado who ends up in Los Angeles. She is a recovering drug addict and meets Kelly Taylor during their stint together in rehab.
On her first night in rehab, Tara was crying in her bed as Kelly was going to sleep. Later, when Kelly left rehab, Tara ran away to stay with Kelly at the Beach House because she couldn't stand being there alone. While Clare Arnold and Donna Martin were opposed to her being there, Kelly initially found comfort in her presence. She even set up Tara on a blind date with David Silver, though neither felt any romantic chemistry.
However, Tara later developed an obsession with Kelly, cutting and dying her hair like hers. She also manipulated the end of Kelly's dating relationship with Greg Meyer, in addition to keying Valerie Malone's car. Later, she made a pass at Brandon Walsh to see what it would be like to be Kelly.
Eventually, she went over the deep end and kidnapped Kelly at gunpoint, driving her up to the edge of a cliff and trying to commit murder-suicide by knocking her out and then carbon monoxide poisoning for the both of them. Kelly managed to escape the car and Tara is taken to a psychiatric facility.