Authorities on Wednesday are searching an area near Lake Ellenor in south Orange County for a missing Orlando woman, and a judge has decided to return custody of her children to their father, the only suspect in her disappearance.
More than 30 people from the Orlando Police Department and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office are searching the area near Lancaster Road and Orange Blossom Trail, not far from where the last ping on Michelle Parker’s phone was registered.
Parker, 33, disappeared Nov. 17 after dropping off her 3-year-olds twins with their father, Dale Smith. The same day, an episode of “The People’s Court” aired nationwide featuring the couple in a dispute over a $5,000 engagement ring.
Dive teams and search crews on boats searched the lake while cadaver dogs helped searched the ground around the lake. The search area is less than two miles from Smith’s father’s house as well as where Smith works.
Police have not said what prompted the new search.
The Police Department officially named Smith, 40, as a suspect in Parker’s disappearance on Monday.