The family of a Florida mother who went missing nine years ago after appearing on a reality TV show with her ex have renewed their appeal for information.
Michelle Parker, 33, was last seen on November 17, 2011, dropping her three-year-old twins off at the home of former fiancé Dale Smith in Orlando.
She and Smith had appeared on an episode of The People’s Court to argue over a $5,000 engagement ring which was recorded earlier that year but aired the day she vanished.
Her black Hummer was found abandoned at an apartment complex and her cell phone was discovered underwater near a bridge.
Gayle Parker, Michelle’s stepmother, told WFTV9 this week: ‘What can you think? They found her phone under a bridge. They also found her vehicle near Millenia Mall. The police named Dale as the prime suspect (in 2011). What else can we think?’
Smith has never been arrested and a judge granted him custody of their twins. He moved away from Orlando years ago, Parker’s family said.
Michelle Parker, 33, was last seen on November 17, 2011, dropping her three-year-old twins off at the home of ex-fiancé Dale Smith in Orlando (pictured together)
Dispute: Michelle Parker appeared on The People’s Court to dispute an engagement ring with ex-fiance Dale Smith
Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolón speaking at a press conference earlier this week with members of the Parker family
Michelle Parker, 33, left, of Orlando, Florida, was last seen November 17, 2011. She had appeared on TV that same day in a dispute with her ex-fiancé Dale Smith, right
Gayle Parker added: ‘We don’t want to make accusations, we just want the truth.’
Michelle’s father Brad Parker said at a police press conference on Tuesday: ‘It’s been a long nine years and the hurt does not go away.’
Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolón said: ‘We need to find closure for the Parker family, for the kids, for all the family members who are desperately looking for the person responsible for her disappearance.’
Detectives say they need new leads because they have explored every possibility so far in the case.
The holiday season being close to the anniversary of Parker’s disappearance makes it that much more poignant for the family.
They said: ‘We can’t believe it’s become 9 years and we just don’t want it to become more.
‘So please, please, please we beg of you to do what you can and tell us where she is.’
Parker and Smith’s appearance on The People’s Court revealed a ‘violent’ history.
Smith had been dishonorably discharged from the Marines in 2003 following a reported court martial and military convictions for drug possession.
Parker had requested a restraining order from Smith in 2009 but the petition was denied by a judge.
Parker had requested a restraining order from Smith in 2009 but the petition was denied by a judge
People’s Court judge Marilyn Milian had told the couple to ‘grow up’ on the reality TV show
Parker and Smith had three-year-old twins together at the time of her disappearance
In her filing she said he ‘smashed the passenger side window in my SUV’ and ‘took car seats out and threw them in the road’. She also alleged that he yelled to her: ‘Your day is coming.’
‘He gets pretty malicious and vindictive,’ she said of him on The People’s Court, ‘and he’s a mean person especially when he’s been drinking.’
Smith had sued Parker, claiming she lost the engagement ring when she threw it at him in a fight at a Hilton hotel during a science fiction convention.
People’s Court judge Marilyn Milian found in favor of Smith on the episode and ordered Parker to pay $2,500.
Milian told the couple: ‘You’re like drugs to each other. You’re addicted to each other.’
She decried their volatile relationship, saying that each of them needs to move on from their on-again-off again romance that had lasted since 2006.
Milian added that the pair needs to ‘grow up’ and ‘move on’ for the sake of the three-year-old twins they have together.
Parker also had a son from a previous relationship who was 10 years old at the time of her disappearance.
Parker’s mother, Yvonne Stewart, previously said that Smith was not responsible for her daughter’s disappearance.
‘Who would want to hurt the mother of their children?’ she told ABC in 2015. ‘I don’t see how in any way he would benefit from it. I know in my heart of heart that she’s been carjacked.
Parker was a bartender at ‘one of the most popular bars’ in Sanford, The Barn, pictured. There is speculation she may have been kidnapped by an infatuated patron, according to a documentary focusing on her disappearance
‘That the people saw an expensive car and a girl who looks like she has money and I know they’ve made a mistake and I know that they want to fix this and I forgive them.’
Last year, HLN’s Real Life Nightmare looked at the possibility she could have been abducted by a customer at the popular bar, The Barn, where she worked up until her disappearance.
Jonathan Beaton, a former Orlando reporter, told the show: ‘Michelle worked at one of the most popular bars in Sanford, Florida. It’s called The Barn.
‘People get weird infatuations with bartenders all the time. So there was speculation that maybe there was a patron at that bar who followed her, who was stalking her, who could have possibly kidnapped her. No one knows.’