What happened to Michelle Hanna on NCIS? (How did she die?)

Michelle Hanna was the wife of Sam Hanna on NCIS: Los Angeles. What happened to her, and how did she die in the series?
'The Book Of Negroes' : Photocall - MIPCOM 2014 In Cannes
'The Book Of Negroes' : Photocall - MIPCOM 2014 In Cannes / Didier Baverel/GettyImages

Sam Hanna has had a rich history since his days on NCIS: Los Angeles, the first spin-off of the NCIS franchise. The show, which aired for 14 seasons, was canceled, but the character of Sam still lives on. He will be featured as a recurring guest star on NCIS: Hawaii. 

Fans who watch NCIS: Hawaii and are new to the series may wonder more about Sam, including his family. He has two children, Kamran and Aidan, with his deceased wife, Michelle (Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor).  What happened to her?

Throughout NCISLA, Sam had an enemy in the form of a terrorist named Tahir Khaled (Anslem Richardson). Sam had been undercover at one point to gather information on the man, earning the trust of his sister, Jada. Due to their history, Tahir had it out for Sam, and this would come to the detriment of his loved ones.

How did Sam Hanna's wife Michelle die on NCIS: Los Angeles?

Even though Tahir was incarcerated, kidnappers would abduct Michelle at the end of season 8 in the episode “Uncaged,” in exchange for his release. However, despite Tahir’s release from prison, the kidnappers didn’t let her go. Michelle succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning before the team was able to rescue her. This led into the season 8 finale as the NCIS agents worked to bring her killer to justice.

Her death was devastating for everyone, especially her husband and children. Throughout the rest of the series, Sam never forgot her, and she was often mentioned, especially as he moved on in life.

While Sam may not directly mention Michelle since he is not one to open up to someone unless he’s very close to them, there might be hints about what he has gone through in dealing with personal trauma in relation to returning to work. But fans of NCIS: LA would probably appreciate a mention of the deceased love of Sam’s life.

You can watch the episodes featuring Michelle’s death on NCISLA on Paramount+. The season 3 premiere of NCIS: Hawaii will air on Monday, Feb. 12 on CBS.