Authorities have removed two children from the home of their father one day after he was named the primary suspect in the disappearance of their mother, Michelle Parker.
On Monday police said Dale Smith, Parker's ex-fiance and the father of her 3-year-old twins, was the primary suspect in her disappearance.
Parker, 33, of Florida, has been missing since Nov. 17, the same day her appearance on "The People's Court" television show aired. She and Smith appeared in the episode to resolve a dispute over an engagement ring.
Parker's mother, Yvonne Stewart, pleaded with Smith during a news conference on Monday.
"If you could have avoided this, Dale, if you had cooperated with the police and took a polygraph test when they asked you, you could have avoided a lot of stress," Stewart said. "So unfortunately, you brought this on yourself. We're not going to stop until we find out who did this."
Orlando Police Chief Paul Rooney said during the press conference that Smith "simply refused" to take a polygraph test when it was offered to him.
"Dale, honestly, if you're out there, honey, and you're listening to me, I have always said from day one--it's O.K. if couples fight," Stewart said. "If you made a mistake, it was just a second of, 'Oh, I lost my head,' or whatever, and you didn't know what to do ... our family needs to have Michelle home. We need to heal.
"This is a sad day, really, but I think it was inevitable," Stewart said.
Parker's sister also sent a message to Smith: "Help us," she said. "Help those kids. It's the mother of those kids. You loved her at one point."
Parker had a tumultuous relationship with the 40-year-old Smith. She was last seen dropping off the twins at his house.
Police conducted an overnight search of Smith's father's home over the weekend, but investigators did not comment on the findings of the search and it is unclear what sparked the search.
Police had previously said that Smith was not a suspect in Parker's disappearance, but details about their stormy life together that sent them to "The Peoples' Court" painted a portrait of a deeply troubled relationship.
"I know he hurt her many times -- dropped her off in areas with no shoes. Took off and left her in Georgia by herself," Parker's friend Angela Launer said in an emotional interview interrupted by sobs with ABCNews.com.
Launer, 34, described the relationship that played out on national television as "rocky" and "tense."
"He hurt my best friend," she said. "I didn't like him because he made her cry. No one should ever be treated that way."
Last week, it was revealed that Parker sought a restraining order from Smith in 2009, but was denied one for lack of evidence.
ABC News also learned that Smith was dishonorably discharged from the Marines in 2003 following a string of court martials, including military convictions for drug possession and domestic battery.
In the episode, Parker and Smith battled over whether Parker had to pay for a $5,000 engagement ring she tossed away during one of their spats. The judge ruled the two should split the cost.
Parker's family has conceded that Smith's relationship with Parker was volatile, but it has also described Smith as a dedicated and loving father who cared for Parker, even when the two didn't get along.
Parker's family began to realize something was amiss when her 11-year-old let the family know that he was home from school and his mom wasn't around.
"I'm here to tell you for a fact that she would never not come home to her 11-year-old son," Launer said. "She would never have taken off, done that to her brother, sister or mother ... That's why we're crying every day. Every time it gets dark, that's another day that's gone by without her."
In an effort to make tips more urgent, over the holiday weekend, Parker's mother announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to Parker's safe return, but the temporary reward expired Sunday night.