Michelle Parker vanished nearly four years ago, and her case is essentially going cold, while the only suspect in her disappearance maintains custody of their children. Dale Smith Jr. has reportedly kept the kids away from their maternal grandmother, Yvonne Stewart — the mother of the missing woman. WFTV News reports that Stewart is pushing for a law that acknowledges grandparents’ rights in regards to battling over custody of children. Are her endeavors for the better good or are they just adding to the persecution of a man who hasn’t been convicted in a court of law?
The day Michelle vanished she was last seen dropping her twins off at Dale Smith Jr.’s apartment, and the children have remained in his custody ever since, only getting to see their maternal family members a very small handful of times before 2012. Here it is now in 2015, and Yvonne Stewart still hasn’t been given any visitation of the children — who are now old enough to be in school. What’s more, Dale and the children have moved away from Florida to a different state, where their lives are being lived quietly away from the scrutiny of the media and the public.
This case shares a lot of similarities with the disappearance of Susan Cox Powell and the resulting battles that came up between her husband and her family. Josh Powell was the prime suspect from the moment Susan was reported missing, but police never had the evidence to arrest him. For years, he kept custody of their two sons, fighting tooth-and-nail to keep them away from their maternal grandparents. In the end, however, he lost that battle, and once the boys were given to Susan’s parents, they began to talk about disturbing memories of the night their mom went missing.
In the end, Josh Powell tricked authorities into giving him unsupervised visitation with his sons, and he took their lives before ending his own on the very first unsupervised visit he got — Super Bowl Sunday, 2012. ABC News reported that he told the children that he had a surprise for them shortly before slamming the door in a social worker’s face, minutes before the house exploded in flames. Susan Cox Powell remains missing to this day, but authorities believe that Josh Powell killed her and disposed of her with their two sons present, and when he started losing control of the boys (when he lost custody of them for good), he began planning their deaths and his suicide to regain ultimate control once and for all.
Yvonne Stewart’s fight to get visitation to see her grandchildren could come with results as soon as July 1 of this year, at which time she says she would immediately be in court to request visitation of her grandchildren. Do you think she’ll be successful?
[Photo: WTSP News/Michelle Parker Photo Gallery]