Friends, family pass out fliers for missing mother; SUV found
Michelle Parker, 33, was last seen Thursday afternoon.
Yvonne Stewart, mother of missing woman holds a flier Friday, November 18, 2011 in Pine Castle. Dozens of friends and family members of a mother who disappeared in Orlando passed out fliers on Friday, hoping to find anyone with information that could lead to her safe return. Friends and family say Michelle Parker, a 33-year-old mother of three, was last seen about 4 p.m. Thursday. Her black Hummer, license plate AWG M26, was also reported missing. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL / November 18, 2011)
Friends and family say Michelle Parker, a 33-year-old mother of three, was last seen about 4 p.m. Thursday. Her black Hummer, license plate AWG M26, was also reported missing.
The sport utility vehicle was later found on the west side of Orlando, police said. The Orlando Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division is working the case.
A friend said Parker text messaged her brother about 4:30 p.m. Thursday, indicating she was in the Waterford Lakes area. She later didn't show up for work at The Barn, where she tends bar.
According to family, she hasn't been heard from since. They described the lack of contact as unusual and disturbing, and ask that the public remain vigilant and report any information to police.
"She's somewhere," said her mother, Yvonne Stewart. "Someone took her, or took that truck."
Friends based their efforts at Jessie Black Saloon, near Belle Isle. They said detectives told them to focus there, because Parker's cell phone was powered down in the area about 8 p.m. Thursday.
Parker's brother, Dustin Erickson, said he didn't know of any reason why his sister would be in that area. He described the longtime bartender as "always happy" and well-known around town.
According to friends, Parker's Hummer has the words "Glow Mobil Airbrush Tanning" on its side windows. Stewart said Parker uses the SUV as a mobile office for a tanning business.
In an alert, police said that Parker has a violent history with a former boyfriend. Court documents indicate the pair went through a custody battle in 2009 over their now 3-year-old twins.
Parker also filed a request for domestic-violence injunction against the man that year. In it, she accused him of a violent tirade in the presence of their children, then 15 months old.
She wrote the man cursed and threatened her on Aug. 16, 2009, while holding one of their twins. He also broke the passenger window of her vehicle, she said, and threw a pair of child car seats.
Parker is described as a 5-foot, 6-inch woman with short, dark brown hair. A friend said she was last seen wearing blue jeans with a long-sleeved Florida Gators zip-up hooded sweatshirt.
Friends started a Facebook community to provide information about efforts to get the word out about Parker, and by Friday evening, more than 900 people were following the page.
Parker's disappearance came the same day an episode of "The People's Court" aired featuring Parker and her ex. The description of the episode on the show's website: "A rollercoaster romance derails!"
In a preview of the episode online, Parker says the man "grabbed me and yanked me around" during a relationship he says lasted for years.
"He's crying, I'm crying, he's sorry, I'm sorry," she tells the judge in the episode preview. "We brushed it under the rug, and I stayed with him for a few more months."
At the end of the video, Judge Marilyn Milian tells the couple they are "like drugs to each other."
"You're addicted to each other," Milian says. A spokeswoman for The People's Court said that the episode was taped on June 8, and the show "will cooperate fully with the authorities."
Hal Boedeker of the Sentinel staff contributed to this report. email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com