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Entries in Dale Smith (5)

Saturday
Jan212012

New Video of Missing Florida Mom Emerges

ABC News Radio(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- Police have released never-before-seen footage of missing mother Michelle Parker picking up food at the drive-through of a fast food chain hours before she was last seen in Orlando, Fla.

Parker has been missing since Nov. 17, the day an episode of The People's Court aired that exposed the tumultuous relationship between her and ex-fiance Dale Smith Jr., the father of her two children.

Police released the video on Parker's 34th birthday to keep the case in the public eye. One of the 750 tips received so far led police to the video.

The video shows Parker going through a KFC drive through in Casselberry, Fla. three hours before she dropped off her 3-year-old twins at Smith Jr.'s home, the last place she was seen.

Police say the video did not give them any new information.

"It's nothing new as far as what she was wearing, the vehicle. That was put out immediately," said Sgt. Vince Ogburn of the Orlando Police Department, according to ABC News affiliate WFTV.

Parker's family celebrated her birthday at a restaurant.

"We've gone through Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and we had a goal she'd be with us, and she's not," said Gayle Parker, Michelle Parker's stepmother.

In late November, a judge ruled that Smith Jr. should get custody of twins that he had with Parker.

Parker's parents said they were "disappointed" with child custody ruling and worried about the 3-year-old twins being in an "unfamiliar environment" since they have spent their whole lives living with Parker in her parents' home.

The children had been taken away from Smith after police said he was the prime suspect in Parker's disappearance.

But despite the battle over the children, Parker's mother Yvonne Stewart hugged Smith outside the courtroom, even though he is the only suspect in her daughter's disappearance.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec092011

'People's Court' Missing Mom: Family Believes Foul Play

ABC News(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- A tip led to the discovery of missing Florida mom Michelle Parker's cell phone at the bottom of a lake, and the battered iPhone indicates foul play to her family, according to the Parker family attorney.

Though the family has so far been publicly optimistic about the search for the mother of three, "hope is starting to fade."

"On the one hand, the family was relieved to get some kind of lead in regards to the disappearance of their daughter," Parker family attorney Matt Morgan told ABC News. "On the other hand, it was devastating for them because at this point, they're coming to grips with the fact that a tragic day is likely imminent."

On Friday, investigators resumed a full-scale search in the area where the cell phone was found, using all-terrain vehicles and divers in the water.

Though the cell phone was found about 40 minutes from Parker's home, the lake is only five minutes from the home of her ex-fiance Dale Smith, who is also the police's prime suspect in the investigation and the father of two of Parker's three children.

The Parker family's newfound despair follows the recovery of Michelle Parker's missing iPhone from the bottom of an Orlando lake. Police have released a photo of the phone that has been submerged for more than three weeks and it has been sent to forensic specialists to see what information can be extracted from it.

The family immediately recognized the pink, blue and black Hurley cover on Parker's iPhone.

The 33-year-old mother of three disappeared on Nov. 17, the same day an episode of The People's Court aired that she and Smith appeared on to resolve a dispute over a $5,000 engagement ring.

The couple's tumultuous relationship played out in the episode and details of Smith's violent past emerged after Parker's disappearance. Even though Smith is the police's main suspect, an Orlando court gave him custody of his and Parker's three-year-old twins just one day after the children had been removed from his care.

The Parker grandparents have not seen their grandchildren since the hearing when a judge gave Smith custody.

Smith's attorney Mark LaJame has said his client has voluntarily met with police three times and has cooperated fully with the investigation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov302011

Mom of Missing Woman Hugs Prime Suspect After Court Hearing

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- The mother of missing Florida woman Michelle Parker hugged the prime suspect in her daughter's disappearance after a court hearing Wednesday.

The hug came moments after a judge ruled that Dale Smith should get custody of twins that he had with Parker, his ex-fiance.

The children were taken away from Smith Tuesday, a day after police said he was the prime suspect in Parker's disappearance.

About the same time, police in Camden County, Ga., found the body of a white woman. It was spotted by a trucker whose vehicle broke down.

When asked whether the body could be Parker, Deputy William Terrell told ABC News affiliate WJXX, "Well that's one of the things we're looking into. We'll be talking to folks in Florida. We're very aware of that case and it may or may not be. It's really just too soon to speculate on that."

Camden County is nearly 200 miles from Orlando, Fla., where Parker was last seen.

Parker's parents said they were "disappointed" with the child custody ruling and worried about the 3-year-old twins being in an "unfamiliar environment" since they have spent their whole lives living with Parker in her parents' home.

Despite the battle over the children, Parker's mother Yvonne Stewart shared a poignant moment with Smith, 40, outside the courtroom on Wednesday. She stopped on her way out and hugged the man who is both the father of her grandchildren and the only suspect in her daughter's disappearance.

"It was an out-of-body experience, standing right behind her," the Parker family's attorney, Matt Morgan, told ABC News. "He's the prime suspect in the missing person case of her daughter, [and she's] hugging this guy and telling him she's praying for him."

Morgan said Parker's family is spending every day "in torment wondering about where Michelle is, what she's going through, if she's still with us."

When asked if the Parker family believes Smith may have harmed Parker, Morgan said, "They really hope he did not. The last thing they want is for the children to grow up knowing that daddy killed mommy."

Morgan is negotiating with Smith and his attorney Mark NeJame to come up with an agreement that would allow Parker's parents "liberal visitation" with their grandchildren and he says they are close to finalizing a deal.

The judge who presided over the emergency custody hearing said there was not sufficient evidence to remove the children from Smith's care, but that the issue would be revisited if new evidence were to arise.

Parker, 33, of Florida, has been missing since Nov. 17, the same day her appearance on The People's Court television show aired. She and Smith appeared in the episode to resolve a dispute over a $5,000 engagement ring.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov292011

'People's Court' Missing Mom: Kids Removed from Ex-Fiance's Home

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- Authorities have removed two children from the home of their father one day after he was named the primary suspect in the disappearance of their mother, Michelle Parker.

On Monday police said Dale Smith, Parker's ex-fiance and the father of her 3-year-old twins, was the primary suspect in her disappearance.

Parker, 33, of Florida, has been missing since Nov. 17, the same day her appearance on The People's Court television show aired. She and Smith appeared in the episode to resolve a dispute over an engagement ring.

Parker's mother, Yvonne Stewart, pleaded with Smith during a news conference on Monday.

"If you could have avoided this, Dale, if you had cooperated with the police and took a polygraph test when they asked you, you could have avoided a lot of stress," Stewart said. "So unfortunately, you brought this on yourself. We're not going to stop until we find out who did this."

Orlando Police Chief Paul Rooney said during the press conference that Smith "simply refused" to take a polygraph test when it was offered to him.

Parker had a tumultuous relationship with the 40-year-old Smith. She was last seen dropping off the twins at his house.

Police conducted an overnight search of Smith's father's home over the weekend, but investigators did not comment on the findings of the search and it is unclear what sparked the search.

Police had previously said that Smith was not a suspect in Parker's disappearance, but details about their stormy life together that sent them to The People's Court painted a portrait of a deeply troubled relationship.

Last week, it was revealed that Parker sought a restraining order from Smith in 2009, but was denied one for lack of evidence.

ABC News also learned that Smith was dishonorably discharged from the Marines in 2003 following a string of court-martials, including military convictions for drug possession and domestic battery.

In the episode, Parker and Smith battled over whether Parker had to pay for a $5,000 engagement ring she tossed away during one of their spats. The judge ruled the two should split the cost.

Parker's family has conceded that Smith's relationship with Parker was volatile, but it has also described Smith as a dedicated and loving father who cared for Parker, even when the two didn't get along.

Parker's family began to realize something was amiss when her 11-year-old let the family know that he was home from school and his mom wasn't around.

In an effort to make tips more urgent, over the holiday weekend, Parker's mother announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to Parker's safe return, but the temporary reward expired Sunday night.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov282011

'People's Court' Missing Mom: Ex-Fiance Named Primary Suspect

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- The ex-fiance of missing Florida mom Michelle Parker has been named the primary suspect in her disappearance, Orlando Police Chief Paul Rooney said in a news conference on Monday.

Parker's mother, Yvonne Stewart, pleaded with Parker's ex-fiance Dale Smith during the news conference.

"If you could have avoided this Dale, if you had cooperated with the police and took a polygraph test when they asked you, you could have avoided a lot of stress," Stewart said. "So unfortunately, you brought this on yourself. We're not going to stop until we find out who did this."

Rooney said Smith "simply refused" to take a polygraph test when it was offered to him.

"Dale, honestly, if you're out there, honey, and you're listening to me, I have always said from day one -- it's okay if couples fight," Stewart said. "If you made a mistake, it was just a second of, 'Oh, I lost my head,' or whatever and you didn't know what to do...our family needs to have Michelle home. We need to heal."

"This is a sad day, really, but I think it was inevitable," Parker said.

Rooney said he did not know if the children were with Smith and would not comment if police plan to arrest Smith.

Parker disappeared Nov. 17, the same day the couple's appearance on The People's Court aired.

Parker, 33, had a set of twins and a tumultuous relationship with ex-fiance Dale Smith. She was last seen dropping off the twins at Smith's house.

Police conducted an overnight search of Smith's father's home over the weekend, but investigators did not comment on the findings of the search and it is unclear what sparked the search.

Police had previously said that Smith was not a suspect in Parker's disappearance, but details about their stormy life together that sent them to The People's Court painted a portrait of a deeply troubled relationship.

In the episode, Parker and Smith battled over whether Parker had to pay for a $5,000 engagement ring she tossed away during one of their spats. The judge ruled the two should split the cost.

Parker's family has conceded that Smith's relationship with Parker was volatile, but it has also described Smith as a dedicated and loving father who cared for Parker, even when the two didn't get along.

Parker's family began to realize something was amiss when her 11-year-old let the family know that he was home from school and his mom wasn't around.

In an effort to make tips more urgent, over the holiday weekend, Parker's mother announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to Parker's safe return, but the temporary reward expired Sunday night.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio