TODAY | December 10, 2011
AMY ROBACH, co-host: But we begin this half-hour with the new search tied to the disappearance of Florida mom Michelle Parker . NBC 's Mark Potter has the latest.
MARK POTTER reporting: Once again, Orlando police and divers from the Orange County Sheriff's Office were out in force, looking for Michelle Parker , who has been missing now for more than three weeks. All day Friday, divers searched a canal directly behind a rental home owned by the father of Dale Smith Jr ., Parker's ex-fiance. Police say the younger Smith is their only suspect in Parker's disappearance, but he denies any wrongdoing and has not been charged. A second search Friday targeted an Orlando community park, where officers brought in dogs to search shorelines and wooded areas.
Captain ROBERT PIGMAN (Orlando Police Department): This is all part of our ongoing, overall search of as much area as we possibly can related to this case in hopes of finding Michelle .
POTTER: Watching nearby were members of Parker's family, including her mother, Yvonne Stewart . Parker's brother said investigators told him they had a reason, which they didn't specify, to be in this area.
Mr. DUSTIN ERICKSON (Michelle Parker's Brother): The exact words put to me were they have information that leads them that they might have information here that they can find to help find her.
POTTER: The searches took place two days after it was revealed that divers had found Michelle Parker 's cellphone in a lake below the Nela Avenue Bridge in Orlando 's Belle Isle area. Throughout their investigation, police would say just how important it was to find that cellphone for the potential answers that phone technology could reveal. Police say the recovered phone was in remarkable shape and is being examined by forensic experts. The search of the canal is close to where the cellphone was found and is also near the area where the last ping from Parker's phone was detected on the day she disappeared. For TODAY, Mark Potter , NBC News, Orlando .