A judge has ordered that the children of missing Florida mom, Michelle Parker, be returned to their father- the prime suspect in the case.
The Florida Department of Children and Families filed a petition to remove Parker's 3-year-old twins from the custody of their father, Dave Smith, saying that he was a significant future risk to them, the Huffington Post reported.
Parker, 32, was last seen with her ex fiancé, Smith, before mysteriously disappearing shortly after her case had appeared on the television show,People's court, where she reported that she had been a victim of Smith's violent temper.
An Orlando Juvenile Court judge dismissed the petition and the twins were returned to the care of their father on Wednesday.
High profile Florida attorney, Mark NeJame, who was hired to defend Smith, said his client was innocent. Dave is a caring father who wants the best for his children and their mother. He just wants them found, NeJame said speaking at a press conference in Orlando on Tuesday.
Since Parker's disappearance 12 days ago, all eyes have been on Smith who was the last to see Parker alive. Smith's reluctance to speak to the media and refusal to take a polygraph test has raised suspicions against him.
He chose to speak to the police, not to the media, and he doesn't have to speak with the media, NeJame said in his defense. He is cooperating.
In reference to the polygraph test NeJame said, It's not admissible in court. They're not scientifically reliable. The police leaked this to the press like it's a big deal.
Prior to her disappearance Parker agreed to participate in the show People's Court to resolve a dispute over her $5000 engagement ring, which she tossed over a balcony in drunkard frenzy.
Parker's mother told ABC news that her daughter had been reluctant to participate in the show, but her ex fiancé, Smith, persuaded her saying it would help to solve the dispute. It was the most humiliating experience of my life. I don't ever want to see it. I wish I hadn't gone, she told her mother after the show.
Parker and Smith were known to have an extremely tumultuous relationship, which Parker told the People's Court was spurred by her ex fiancé's violent side that worsened with alcohol. Parker took out a restraining order against Smith, which was later dismissed. He has a long criminal history, including dishonorable discharge from the military, WTSP News reported.
Parker's mother appeared on the Today's Show on Tuesday saying she suspected her daughter has been carjacked.
I know in my heart of heart that she's been carjacked, that the people saw an expensive car and a girl who looks like she has money and I know they've made a mistake and I know that they want to fix this and I forgive them. It's Thanksgiving. She wants to come home to her babies. We want her home, she said.
Her mother also told the Today's Show that she was frustrated with the laws in this country. I have really good information that she may be in a certain area and I just can't go in and kick the door down and get her,'' She said in a statement that she later backed away from clarifying that there was not a specific door she wanted to knock down and she was expressing a general frustration.
Parker's friends and volunteers organized a search for Parker. On Tuesday morning fliers and T-shirts were handed out with Parker's printed photo. The search initially focused on south Florida where Parker's iPhone was last pinged but the search has now expanded to Orange County.
Parker's family have now hired the Morgan and Morgan law firm to represent them in the case. A $5000 reward is being offered by the family.