Judge asks family to refile wrongful death lawsuit in Michelle Parker case



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A judge told the family of Michelle Parker that they would need to refile a wrongful death lawsuit in the case of the missing woman.

The family filed the suit against Parker's ex-fiancé, Dale Smith.

Parker disappeared in November 2011 after dropping her twins off at Smith's Orlando apartment. It was the same day that she and Smith appeared on a taped episode of "People's Court."

Police named Smith, the twins' father, as the only suspect, but never brought charges against him. Smith and the children now live out of the state.

Smith was not in court Wednesday.

The suit was filed by Parker's mother, Yvonne Stewart, who said she filed the suit in an effort to find out what happened to her daughter.

"Whatever tactic they want to take legally, I'm just looking for the truth," said Stewart in a previous interview with Channel 9. "I want to know where my daughter is, and I want to know what happened to her."

During the hearing the judge told both sides that he needs to see more facts in the lawsuit against dale Smith, including exactly how her family alleges Smith caused Parker's death.

Following Wednesday's hearing, Smith's attorney said that the judge dismissed the civil suit against his client as it currently stands. He said the judge told Parker's family they have 10 days to amend the suit.

Parker's family said Wednesday's ruling does not mean the civil suit is over. The family attorney said the suit will be amended and refiled.

"Sometimes you have to face the facts in the sense we might never see her again, and I hate that I am able to even say that. Now we have her children that I'm fighting for we need to make sure they grow up knowing their mother, that one day we can explain what happened, not 'Sorry, we don't know,'" said Parker's sister, Lauren Erickson, following the hearing.

Erickson said she isn't going to stop in her efforts to find out what happened to her sister.

"I'm never going to give up on my sister," said Erickson.

She said the family will continue to push forward with their lawsuit.

"I'm happy we're able to add more facts to it," Erickson said. "When the case goes forward I hope he has the option to plead the Fifth (Amendment), and if he chooses to plead the Fifth, in my opinion guilty people plead the Fifth."

Follow Kendra on Twitter: @KendraWFTV

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