Friends, family and co-workers collected donations at The Barn bar in Sanford on Thursday night as they continue searching for a missing mother.
Michelle Parker, 33, disappeared Nov. 17 after dropping off her 3-year-old 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.
The Orlando Police Department on Monday officially named Smith, 40, as a suspect in Parker’s disappearance.
Standing where the missing mother once worked, friends collected tips that will be used to help her family’s search and to support her children, who haven’t seen their mother in two weeks.
“We still have three children at home that have to be taken care of and search efforts are still going on and funds have to be rolled into that as well,” said Angela Mann, a family friend.
For the second straight day, police searched near Lake Ellenor in south Orlando with little or no results. Authorities searching Thursday morning discovered a raised section of ground, prompting officials to clear the area to further investigate, although nothing was found.
The area is near where Parker’s phone last sent a signal, and not far from the prime suspect’s workplace and father’s house.
Help has poured in from across the country. Texas Equusearch founder Tim Miller arrived in Orlando offering his help, but it’s unclear how much his group will assist.
Support has even come from complete strangers.
“We have people that came in today from Canada. They’re driving their motorhome back to Canada and they took 500 fliers and they’re going to stop and pass them out all the way to Canada,” said Mann.