ORLANDO, Fla. — Wednesday will mark 10 years since Michelle Parker disappeared.
On Nov. 17, 2011, the 33-year-old Orlando mother of three picked up her twins at day care and dropped them off with her ex-fiance, their father, Dale Smith Jr., at his South Goldenrod Road home in Orlando, according to police.
That same day, the couple was on an episode of “The People’s Court,” talking about their sometimes-violent relationship.
Parker was never heard from again.
Investigators later reported they recovered Parker’s vehicle on the west side of Orlando with the decal for her business scraped off the window. They also said her cell phone was recovered from a lake south of Orlando.
According to police, Smith was named as a suspect in her disappearance, but has never been charged.
“Well, I am always hoping that the truth will come out, and that the person who’s responsible for this goes to prison and tells us maybe where she is, you know, even though I know we may never find her,” said Parker’s mother, Yvonne Stewart. “And that’s something that you just come to terms with. And you accept it. You just go, “Well, she’s in heaven.”
Orlando police are no closer to finding Parker than they were before.
Stewart told Channel 9 that she has not seen the twins in years.
Now 13, the twins were just 3 years-old when their mother vanished. Parker’s oldest son is 21.
A recent fight for a bill to change the law allowing grandparents to have rights to their grandchildren didn’t make it through Florida lawmakers.
“The injustice, the judicial system, you know, it failed us when it came to the grandparent rights - not even having the chance to talk to the judge about everything that we knew to help inform a decision,” Stewart said. “And he did not make the right decision, so that really bothers me that I can’t see the kids.”
Stewart said her daughter is always in her mind and in her heart.
“I just want to honor her. I’m doing this for her because she did not deserve this, and her kids didn’t deserve this. And I’m a mom and it’s hard to lose a child. And I know there’s other moms out there that have lost children and it hurts and it never goes away. It’s just a big empty hole,” Stewart added.