The iPhone of Michelle Parker, a mother of three who vanished three weeks ago, was found by police, family members said.
Parker’s family said police did not say when, where or how the 33-year-old’s cell phone was found, but said they were called late Wednesday to identify a photograph of the phone, which has a pink and black case.
“This literally makes my hope skyrocket,” said Parker’s sister, Lauren Erickson. “It’s exciting, it’s scary, it’s sad. I don’t even know what to think about it. I hope that it brings something. It has got to bring something.”
Parker disappeared Nov. 17 after she appeared on an episode of “The People’s Court” with her ex-fiance, Dale Smith Jr., who is now the prime suspect in her disappearance.
After weeks of searching and combing area lakes, Erickson said the search had flat-lined, but this discovery has renewed the family’s efforts.
Erickson said the phone had “a little of dirt on it, but it didn’t look like it was in horrible condition.”
“You’re excited, but you’re scared, because you don’t know what it means. It was found, which means it wasn’t found with her. So it wasn’t where it was supposed to be,” said Erickson.
Police will likely mine the phone for its data and search for fingerprints. Erickson said she does not think anyone else’s fingerprints should be on the phone beside her sister’s.
Orlando police have not charged Smith with any crime and have not commented on the family’s claim about the phone.