Tina is later exonerated and Mitch is sent to prison; he "finds God" and manages to be freed, soon becoming the leader of a religious cult and preying upon his young female disciples. He then orchestrates the kidnapping of Clint and Viki Buchanan's newborn daughter Jessica by his follower Allison Perkins (daughter of Statesville Prison's warden). Jessica is eventually returned, and Mitch is killed on July 18 1986 by a blow to the back of the head from Dorian Cramer Lord as he attempts to rape her daughter, Cassie Callison.
On April 1, 1987, Mitch is seen again—this time as a voyager on the “Star Ascension,” during Viki’s out-of-body experience as she suffered from a brain aneurysm. During the high stakes dream, which dictates whether she would live or die, Viki is able to ultimately destroy his power over her.
Mitch Laurence had secretly raped a drugged Viki around the same time she conceived a child with Clint. Viki unknowingly became pregnant with fraternal twins, one fathered by Clint (Natalie) and the other fathered by Mitch (Jessica). Dr. Walter Balsom, who had been one of Mitch's disciples, took Mitch's daughter during delivery, and Viki never knew she'd had more than one child. Mitch, however, wanted his daughter to grow up loved by Viki in the lap of luxury, and sent Allison to kidnap Clint's child. They replaced her with Mitch's daughter (who would become Jessica), and gave Clint's daughter (who would become Natalie) to Dr. Balsom and his wife Roxy.
In 2002, Mitch returns from the dead; he had not actually died at Dorian's hands, but Dr. Balsom had helped him make it look that way. As "Michael Lazarus" Mitch wooes Natalie Buchanan into marriage. The union is soon annulled, but in 2003 Mitch marries a newly-returned-to-town Dorian, who wants in on Mitch's true plan: to take control of Victor Lord's estate. A very-much-alive Victor has been living in seclusion but is now in need of a heart transplant; Mitch promises him a perfect match in exchange for his fortune, and Victor agrees. Mitch's own daughter Jessica has the matching organ but he offers up Natalie instead; Viki's arrival stops the operation, and Victor soon dies in front of his shocked daughter. Later, Jessica accidentally pushes Mitch into the Llantano River.
Mitch regains his sight (after an accident blinded him), and is rescued by Viki's half-brother Todd Manning (who is impersonating Mitch's brother Walker). Mitch kidnapps Jessica again and drags her to Lion's Heart, the gothic mansion where Victor had been living all those years. Viki and Antonio rescue Jessica and Mitch is arrested. He is later released from jail by Todd, who leads him to the docks to make an escape. Mitch tries to kill Todd, and Jessica appeares and knocks Mitch over the head with a lead pipe, killing him instantly. Todd doesn't want Jessica to take the blame, so he plants false evidence to point the finger of suspicion at others. The body is discovered by Tina's daughter Sarah "Flash" Roberts, and though Todd and Jessica each confess to killing Mitch, Police Commissioner Bo Buchanan is inclined to look the other way and abandon the case.