"I apologize. This is all my fault. To be close to someone else, I betrayed my marriage."
One of the best restorative artists around, Federico got his start at Fisher & Sons shortly after the death of his father, Mauricio Ricardo Diaz. Mr. Diaz had been severely disfigured in an accident, and when Nathaniel Fisher was able to restore the body for an open viewing, the young Federico was grateful and deeply impressed. He struck up a relationship with Mr. Fisher and started doing odd jobs around Fisher & Sons; later Mr. Fisher put Federico through mortuary school.
At the time of Mr. Fisher's death, Rico had been working for him for five years. But when Nate and David took over the business, Federico - who had a pregnant wife and a young son - began to feel he wasn't being paid what he was worth. When mortuary conglomerate Kroehner Service International offered him a substantial pay increase to leave the Fishers, Federico told David and Nate he'd stay - if they made him a partner. Unable to do that, the Fishers watched helplessly as their most valuable asset joined their competition.
Federico wasn't at Kroehner's for long, however. The hours were bad, the work was not as challenging as promised and, even for a funeral home Kroehner was a cold and impersonal place. So when Nate offered to match what Kroehner was paying him, Federico gladly returned. But as fate would have it, Federico did finally get what he wanted: he unexpectedly inherited a large sum of money at a point when David and Nate were in desperate need of cash. So, for seventy-five thousand dollars, Federico is now the owner of twenty-five percent of the funeral home, rechristened Fisher & Diaz.
Matters at home are a different story. His wife, Vanessa, usually strong-willed and in control, slid into a depression in the wake of her mother's death. The bout creates a distance between them, which is exacerbated by Rico's interest in a needy single mother and her child. When Vanessa discovers that Rico's "charity case" is a stripper, she refuses to believe the relationship isn't sexual, and kicks him out of the house. This ultimately sends Rico into the arms of the stripper.
The affair is short-lived, however, and Federico becomes preoccupied with patching up his marriage and moving back in with his kids. Convinced Vanessa will take him back once her anger subsides, he offers a tearful, heartfelt apology. She accepts, but it's too late. She now thinks they married too young, and tells Rico they're both better off on their own.