Michelle Parker's estate files wrongful-death lawsuit - FOX 35 News Orlando

Michelle Parker's estate files wrongful-death suit against ex-fiance

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The estate of a missing Orlando mother of three has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against her ex-fiancé. The law firm representing Michelle Parker's family confirmed the lawsuit with FOX 35 on Thursday.

Parker, a 33-year-old mother of three, was last seen on Nov. 17, 2011. She disappeared the same day as an airing of an episode of "The People's Court," on which she and her ex-fiancé Dale Smith Jr. appeared to settle a dispute over a $5,000 engagement ring.  Police have named Smith Jr. as the prime suspect in her disappearance, but he has not been charged with any crime.

The lawsuit states that Smith Jr. was, "negligent, or otherwise committed a wrongful act and caused the death of Michelle L. Parker."

"It's a hurdle," said attorney John Morgan, "but it is not as big of a hurdle in a civil case than in a criminal case.  So, it's a hurdle, but not a insurmountable hurdle."

Morgan said 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 Jr. and his family. Morgan said they will present evidence that will show smith knows more than he is saying.

"I would just say there was some text messages and just the whole timing of the disappearance with the text messages and the relationship. It's either a carjacking or a random murder for no reason, or a murder for reason. There are only 3 possibilities."



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