Published March 10, 2013
The mother of a Florida woman who disappeared in 2011 has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the missing woman’s ex-fiance, Fox 35 reported.
Michelle Parker, 33, the mother of three, vanished on Nov. 17, 2011, the day an episode of “The People’s Court” featuring her and her former fiancé aired.
The lawsuit filed by Parker's mother, Yvonne Stewart, seeks damages totaling more than $15,000, alleging that Smith was "negligent or otherwise committed a wrongful act and caused the death" of the woman, the Daily Mail reported.
Parker and her ex-fiance, Dale Smith Jr., were on the show to settle a dispute over a $5,000 engagement ring.
According to Fox 35, police have named Smith – the father of Parker’s twins -- as the prime suspect in Parker’s disappearance, but he has not been charged with any crime.
Attorney John Morgan told the station there are a lot of unanswered questions surrounding the disappearance of Parker, and he feels the only way to get those answers is to depose people under oath, including Smith and his family. Morgan said they will present evidence that will show Smith knows more than he is saying.
On the legal show, Parker described a tumultuous relationship with Smith that at times she said became violent.
"He gets pretty malicious and vindictive," she told the courtroom, "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," she said.
Smith was originally granted custody of his children with Parker, but his custody was revoked. The children are now under the care of Parker's mother.
Parker's vehicle was found abandoned the day after she disappeared, and her family initially thought she was the victim of a carjacking.
Police divers found Parker's cellphone at the bottom of a lake in Belle Isle, Fla., about a month after she disappeared, the Orlando Sentinel reported at the time.
Parker was last seen wearing jeans, a Florida Gators hooded sweatshirt and a silver cross necklace.