Michelle Parker's family still wants to know why she vanished in more than two years ago. Investigators maintain to this day that Parker's ex-fiance, Dale Smith, is a person of interest, despite the fact he's never been charged.
Last year, attorneys for Parker's family filed a wrongful death suit against Smith, hoping that will force him to talk about the case under oath.
But Smith's attorneys said there's no evidence linking him with Parker's disappearance, and asked a judge Wednesday in Orange County to dismiss the wrongful death suit.
"There is no death certificate," said Smith's attorney, Tom Sadaka. "There's been no determination by the court or by the Department of Health that Ms. Parker is actually deceased."
Orange County Civil Court Judge John Marshall Kest dismissed the suit, but added he would "leave to amend," allowing attorneys for Parker's family to change some legal language in the suit and refile it.
"He hasn't dismissed the case, so we're pushing forward with the case," said John Dill, representing Michelle Parker's family. "He's going to address the issue of whether the deposition should move forward, which we feel it will."
Parker's family hopes this moves them one step forward to finding answers.
"Sometimes you have to face the facts in the sense that we might never see her again," said Lauren Erickson, Parker's sister. "I hate that I'm even able to say that, but now we have her children to fight for. We need them to grow up knowing their mother."
Dill has 10 days to refile the wrongful death civil suit.
Meanwhile, the criminal investigation into Parker's disappearance continues. Investigators say they continue to get new leads every day, but so far, there have been no arrests.
Parker's mother, Yvonne Stewart, has been also fighting to see her grandchildren, who remain in Smith's custody. Smith has moved out of state for a job, and Stewart was hoping that a grandparents' rights bill would pass in the Florida Legislature.
That bill, however, died last week in a Senate judiciary committee.