Cell Phone of Missing The People's Court Defendant Found
Yvonne Stewart, the devastated mother of missing The People's Court defendant Michelle Parker broke down over some ominous news.
Parker's cellphone, which she always had on her, has just been found.
"I cannot even begin to tell you how much pain my heart is in today. I had such high hopes that you know, maybe we would find her and she'd be alive, and I just don't think that's going to happen," said Stewart.
The iPhone was discovered by Orlando police divers under a bridge. It is six miles from the house of the only suspect in the case, Parker's ex-fiance Dale Smith. The two had squared off in an episode of The People's Court that aired the day she vanished.
Police also recovered a photo of Parker from her phone.
"It just breaks my heart that my daughter's cell phone was found because that means it's something criminal," said Stewart.
Until this heartbreaking discovery, Stewart had done her best to keep up a brave front, remaining stoic at numerous public appearances. Now the daunting reality is sinking in.
"It's becoming a lot more real to me now that somebody has done something horrible to my child," said Stewart.
Parker was last seen when she dropped off her twins at Dale Smith's house at 3:18 pm on November 17th. Then, Smith took the children to his own parents' home and was there by 4:30 that afternoon.
The bridge where the cell phone was found lies right between the two locations, in almost a straight line.
Smith denies any wrongdoing, and his lawyer, Mark Nejame, has said the timing and the distances involved make it impossible for his client to have been involved in Parker's disappearance.
Nejame said, "You know at 3:18, the video shows that she pulled in. And we know at 4:30, he arrived at his father's place. His parents house. So, in that period of time, in that period of time, how is it physically--go out there. Do your investigation. I challenge each and every one of you to go get in your cars and run that track and see if you can do it."
Well, INSIDE EDITION took him up on his challenge. Our producer did the drive from one house to the other, passing over the bridge where the phone was found. The journey took 20 minutes, leaving an intriguing gap of 52 minutes from the lawyer's one hour twelve minute time line.
Now Parker's mother can only wait and grieve.
Stewart said at a press conference, "Michelle, if you are in heaven, baby I love you and I know you don't want me to be sad, but I just can't help it."