ORLANDO, Fla. - The mother of Michelle Parker, who disappeared in November 2011, is expected to make a statement on Monday, days after filing a wrongful death lawsuit against her daughter's ex-fiance.
Parker's mother, Yvonne Stewart, filed the suit against Dale Smith, who is also the father of her daughter's two children.
More than a year ago, Michelle Parker appeared on "People's Court" with Smith, but hours after the program aired nationally, she disappeared.
Soon afterward, Orlando police named Smith the prime suspect in the case, but he has not been charged. On Thursday, Parker's mother filed the wrongful death complaint against him.
“He’s been asked to take a (polygraph) by OPD and (they) would release him from (being a) suspect and he’s refused,” said Stewart.
Channel 9 learned the lawsuit was filed as police said they're still trying to figure out what happened to Parker.
"The loss of a child is the most painful thing any parent can go through," said Stewart.
Stewart went on to say every day is like a funeral.
"I'm mad and Michelle deserves this and her children deserve this," she said.
Smith recently moved out of Florida with his and Parker's 4-year-old children, and Stewart said she hasn't seen the children in months.
"They ask me all the time, 'Where's my mommy?'" Stewart said. “I’m very concerned about them being away from the family they knew.”
Orlando detectives have not given up but they have run out of leads in the search for Parker's body and how she was killed.
The lawsuit claims Parker died "as a direct and proximate result of the negligence of the defendant" and goes on to say had Smith not been "negligent or otherwise committed a wrongful act, there would not have been any injuries or damages sustained by Parker.
The lawsuit said Parker died on or about Nov. 17, 2011, the day the "People's Court" episode aired.
Police found her cellphone in Lake Conway near the Nela Avenue Bridge, and they searched Smith's father's Orange County home, but no charges have been filed and no arrest has been made.
Channel 9 learned on Thursday lawyers representing Parker's family have their own evidence against Smith that they plan to use in court.
"This civil action will allow us to get (depositions) and discovery the police don't have and force people to be accountable," said Morgan.
Attorney John Morgan said he has phone records, like texts between Parker and Smith.
"There's some text messages and just the whole timing of the disappearance with the text messages and the relationship," said Morgan.
Morgan said he doesn't expect to be able to access whatever evidence police might have against Smith, and he's not fazed by the possibility that Smith could take the Fifth in a civil case to prevent incriminating himself in any future criminal case.
"It's been my experience and my view that most guilty people take the Fifth. John Gotti took the Fifth," said Morgan.
Smith's attorney, Mark Nejame, insists there is no evidence linking Smith to Parker's disappearance or death.
"They had wiretaps in his house and nothing came up. They followed him," said Nejame.
Morgan admits the absence of a body is a hurdle in the case, but it's not insurmountable.