There are some interesting things happening in Orlando. A search is currently going on for a missing mother of three from Orlando. Michelle Parker has been missing more than two weeks now. She’s 33. She disappeared after dropping her kids off to ex-fiance Dale Smith’s house. That same day, an episode of ‘The People’s Court’ aired regarding a dispute they had over a $5,000 engagement ring.
Since her disappearance, Smith has been named the primary suspect after more than a week of searching by the family and Orlando Police Department. At one point, a $50,000 reward was being offered. Now it’s at $5,000 and police are narrowing their search to the last area Parker’s cell phone was detected.
As I type this, the search has shifted to Orlando’s Lake Ellenor. Crews are taking photographs and searching brush. They are also deploying a jet-boat, jet skis and a pontoon equipped with a camera and possibly side-sonar.
Yesterday, Smith and his attorney Mark Nejame requested the assistance of Texas Equusearch. They are a search unit out of Texas. I have worked on missing person cases in the past very closely with my former News Director Gary Peterson. One current case I work on is the disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit. But Peterson is very active in search and rescue and has worked with Equusearch on such cases as the Caylee Anthony murder case. He says ‘secondary’ searches can be just as important as the initial search. While the initial search is the best chance of finding a missing person (The window is about 24 hours), the secondary search needs to be extremely thorough. I think we’re seeing a lot of that now with these additional searches the authories are doing and with what Equusearch will do when they arrive.
Gary had this to say about Texas Equusearch today:
Tim Miller and his group of volunteers are probably the best search organization in the world. I have so much respect for their search methods and their never ending determination to find missing loved ones. I have worked with Tim Miller on many high profile cases and would be honored to assist him on the search for this mother.
We will continue to follow this story and I may post some updates on this blog regarding the search. I’ll be chatting with Gary as he may even come to down to Orlando to assist in the search if called upon.
It’s great to see volunteers step up to help find missing persons. I believe one of the hardest things a family would ever have to go through is dealing with a family member who’s disappeared. Especially without a trace. These search groups help bring hope, and possibly closure for the family where they find their loved one alive or not.