Orlando retention pond searched for missing mother Michelle Parker

Parker vanished Nov. 17

SANFORD, Fla. - The family of Michelle Parker, a mother of three who vanished more than two weeks ago, moved their search headquarters to Seminole County to expand their search efforts.

Friends and family held a silent auction Friday night at The Barn in Sanford to raise money for the children's trust funds and to help continue the search.

Earlier Friday, a dive team searched an Orlando retention pond for Parker, who vanished on Nov. 17.

The pond is located off Rose Boulevard near Tahiti Road in south Orlando, about two miles from Lake Ellenor, where authorities conducted a search on Wednesday and Thursday. 

Meanwhile, Parker's family held a news conference Friday afternoon, saying they're moving the command search headquarters from Orlando to Sanford.

The Orlando Police Department said it will continue to search Lake Ellenor and the retention pond. Both are near the area where Parker's cellphone last sent a signal.  The workplace of Dale Smith Jr., Parker's ex-fiance and the only named suspect in her disappearance, is also located nearby.

Parker, 33, disappeared after dropping off her 3-year-old twins with Smith, who is the father of the children.  The same day, an episode of "The People's Court" aired nationwide featuring the couple in a dispute over a $5,000 engagement ring.

The Orlando Police Department on Monday officially named Smith, 40, as a suspect in Parker's disappearance.

Parker also has an 11-year-old son from another relationship.

Thursday night, friends, family and co-workers collected donations at The Barn bar in Sanford as they continue searching for Parker.

Standing where the missing mother once worked, friends collected tips that will be used to help her family's search and to support her children, who haven't seen their mother in two weeks.

"We still have three children at home that have to be taken care of and search efforts are still going on and funds have to be rolled into that as well," said Angela Mann, a family friend.

Help has poured in from across the country. Texas Equusearch founder Tim Miller arrived in Orlando offering his help, but it's unclear how much his group will assist.

Support has even come from complete strangers.

"We have people that came in today from Canada. They're driving their motorhome back to Canada and they took 500 fliers and they're going to stop and pass them out all the way to Canada," said Mann.

Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.

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