Missing Florida mom Michelle Parker's ex-fiance, Dale Smith, has been named a prime suspect in her disappearance, police said.
"After numerous tips and investigative leads, we are officially naming Dale Smith, the ex-fiance, as the primary suspect in the disappearance of Michelle Parker," Orlando Police Chief Paul Rooney said in a press conference Monday. "Many questions will be asked why Dale Smith wasn't considered a suspect prior to today, and the answer is, we had to look at every aspect of the case before we could come out publicly and state the Mr. Smith is our primary focus."
Parker, the 33-year-old mother of an 11-year-old son from a previous relationship and 3-year-old twins with Smith, disappeared on Nov. 17 around 4 p.m. after dropping off the twins at his home. That day, she and Smith appeared in an episode of The People's Court to settle a dispute about a $5000 engagement ring that she allegedly threw over a hotel balcony during an argument while drunk.
The show revealed a tumultuous relationship between the couple, with both admitting that violent, alcohol-related disputes were a commonplace occurrence.
He gets pretty vindictive and malicious, and he's a mean person especially when he's been drinking," Parker said on the show. "Any of the problems we've had have always been alcohol-related."
Police conducted a raid of Smith's current residence, his father's home in Orlando, last Saturday night but would not reveal if anything was found. Not only does Smith have a violent past, with public records showing convictions on drug and battery charges as well as a 2009 domestic dispute between he and Parker involving their children, but police revealed he refused to take a polygraph test, furthering suspicions against him.
A friend of Parker's, 34-year-old Angela Launer, told ABC News she was aware of his violent streak.
"I know he hurt her many times – dropped her off in areas with no shoes, took off and left her in Georgia by herself," she said. "He hurt my best friend. I didn't like him because he made her cry. No one should ever be treated that way."