Suspect in missing mom case was part of '92 murder investigation
Updated On: Nov 29 2011 05:35:32 PM EST
New information has surfaced about the violent past of the man who has been named as the primary suspect in the disappearance of an Orlando mother.
Michelle Parker disappeared Nov. 17, but Orlando Police did not name her ex-fiance, Dale Smith, as a suspect until Monday. Smith was the last person to see Parker that afternoon when she dropped the couple's twins off with him, about 20 minutes after an episode of "The People's Court" that the two appeared on to resolve a financial issue finished airing locally. On the show, Parker said of Smith, "He can get violent, especially when he drinks."
Investigators searched Smith's parents house over the weekend, the same location that Smith was arrested at 20 years ago after witnessing a murder.
Police say Smith was among a gang of seven people, mostly teens, that were looking for a fight over Memorial Day weekend, 1992. The gang jumped two men as they were leaving a nightclub in downtown Orlando and one of the men was stabbed to death, police said.
Smith was never accused of the stabbing, but the victim's brother says he believes Smith was the leader of the gang.
Smith was 20 years old when Bryan Tileston, 22, was killed.
"For whatever reason, I don't know, but two carloads of guys decided to jump him (Bryan Tileston) and his buddy," Tileston's brother, Tommy Tileston, said.
Tommy Tileston and others in the gang said Smith was the first person to get out of the cars.
Tommy Tileston said he immediately thought Parker was in trouble when he heard Smith was the last person to see her alive.
Bryan Tileston's murder shook downtown Orlando. His friends and family held a vigil and sought a curfew for teens.
"They (Smith's and his friends) had already planned to go downtown and to cause problems and get somebody and my brother and his friend happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time," Tommy Tileston said.
The 16-year-old friend of Smith's who actually stabbed Bryan Tileston was sentenced to 22 years in prison for second-degree murder.
Smith pleaded no contest to attempted aggravated battery for kicking Bryan Tileston's friend in the head. He spent six months in the county jail before successfully completing his probation and having an adjudication of guilt withheld.
Despite his outcome with the courts, Tommy Tileston says he has no doubt that Smith led the pack that killed his brother.
"They all turned on each other, and they all said, 'Dale. Dale. Dale.'" Tommy Tileston said.
Smith's lawyer, Mark NeJame, declined to comment and Orlando police have not said why they consider Smith a suspect in Parker's disappearance.
At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, NeJame said Dale Smith is asking for Texas Equusearch to search for missing 33-year-old Michelle Parker, provided Orlando authorities approve.
NeJame also said Smith is declining to take a lie detector test because it's unreliable and not because he is hiding anything.
Matt Morgan of Morgan and Morgan announced Tuesday that his firm will be representing the Parker family free of charge.
NeJame represented Casey Anthony's family for a short time following the disappearance of Anthony's daughter, Caylee. He has also represented Tiger Woods and served as a legal analyst for WKMG during the Casey Anthony trial.
Crews are continuing to search throughout Orange County for Parker.
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