— A dive team has concluded its search of a small lake for clues in the case of missing mom Michelle Parker. Orlando police said Wednesday afternoon that they did not find anything of value in the search, WESH.com reported.
Parker went missing on Nov. 17, shortly after her appearance on “The People’s Court’’ aired. Police are searching the lake, located behind a now-defunct nightclub in Orlando, according to a report in The Orlando Sentinel. In December, Parker’s iPhone was found by divers under a bridge in Belle Isle. It was last active at 8 p.m. on the day she disappeared.
The 34-year-old mother of 3-year-old twins was last seen dropping her children off at 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 17 at the home of their father, Dale Smith II. Police have searched Smith’s home and his parents’ home since Parker went missing. Authorities have named Smith, 40, the prime suspect in her disappearance but have not charged him with any crime.
Investigators told WESH.com they received a tip that fit the timeline of Parker's disappearance and they hoped to find clues or information near Lake Bumby in Orlando.
Smith and Parker appeared together on an episode of “The People’s Court’’ that aired on the day of her disappearance. They were in a dispute over a $5,000 engagement ring that she told the judge she threw at him during an argument. Parker was ordered by the judge to pay $2,500 for half the cost of the ring, and she made mention of a tempestuous past with Smith.
“He gets pretty malicious and vindictive,’’ Parker said on the show. “And he’s a mean person, especially when he’s been drinking. He shouldn’t have put his hands on me, and he shouldn’t have put his hands on me prior. He shouldn’t have left me three or four times over the past year-and-a-half that we’ve been together.’’
A day after Parker’s disappearance, her Hummer SUV was found abandoned on the west side of Orlando, according to police. Her brother also reported getting a cryptic, one-word text message — that said, simply, "Waterford" — from Parker’s phone at 4:26 p.m. on the day of her disappearance. Waterford is an area of Orlando. At 6:50 p.m., Parker’s sister Lauren Erickson received a call from Parker’s 11-year-old son from another relationship who was concerned that his mother was not home yet. Parker did not show up for her shift as a bartender at 7:30 p.m.
On Jan. 24, Florida officials announced they had ruled in favor of letting Parker and Smith's twins remain in their father's custody.
Parker's family members came to the site of the dive team's search. "We have been waiting for clues and tips to see if we can find her," Parker's mother Yvonne Stewart told the Orlando Sentinel. "It's a double-edged sword. But if she is here, I hope we find her."