Isabella, her husband Hector, and their other children (Mateo Santos, Anita Santos, and Rosa Santos) all eventually moved to Pine Valley. Isabella appeared on and off over the years as a supporting role for her children. She did not approve of Julia dating Noah Keefer but eventually gave them her blessing when they wed in 1996. That same year Julia and Noah had to enter the witness protection program after an attempt on their lives resulted in Hector Santos' death.
In 1997 Isabella received word that her eldest daughter Maria had apparently died in a plane crash. She was devastated and overcome with grief. Isabella took comfort in involving herself in her grand children's lives and was pleased when Mateo decided to name his son Enzo "Hector" Santos. Isabella adored Mateo's wife Haley Vaughn. In 2001 Isabella was having trouble keeping tabs on her youngest daughter, Rosa, who was getting into trouble at school. Isabella decided that perhaps she was too overbearing and restrictive and decided to let Rosa go to Pine Valley's public highschool that year. In 2002, it was revealed that Maria Santos had survived the plane crash and had been living in Nevada for five years with amnesia. Isabella was beside herself with joy when she saw Maria for the first time again, but hurt that Maria did not remember her. Eventually, Maria regained her memory and remarried Edmund Grey, where Isabella acted as a witness.