Erica Lynn Parsons

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Top Two Rows and Left and Center: Erica, circa 2011;
Bottom Right: Age-progression to age 17 (circa 2015)


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: November 19, 2011 from Salisbury, North Carolina
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: February 24, 1998
  • Age: 13 years old
  • Height and Weight: 4'5, 85 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: Shorts and a red sweatshirt with a snowman on the front.
  • Medical Conditions: Erica is learning-disabled and has hearing problems. She is classified as a special needs child.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Erica was reported missing by her adoptive brother, William "James" Parsons. He last saw her at their home in the 200 block of Miller Chapel Road in Salisbury, North Carolina on November 19, 2011. He reported her disappearance on July 30, 2013, twenty months after he last saw her, and shortly after his parents forced him to leave their house. James stated whenever he asked where Erica was, their parents, Casey Stone Parsons and Sandy Wade Parsons Sr., told him she was staying with relatives. Photographs of Casey and Sandy are posted below this case summary. James said he became suspicious of their story and after his own attempts to locate his sister came to nothing, he went to the police.

    Casey and Sandy, who have five biological children in addition to Erica, told the police they believed Erica was staying with her biological family. Her birth mother, Carolyn Parsons, had been Sandy's brother's wife. Casey and Sandy took custody of her when she was an infant and adopted her in March 2000, when she was two years old. According to them, Carolyn got in touch with the family in 2011. Her parents allowed Erica to visit her birth family in Asheville, North Carolina three times, and after the third visit she never came home. Her adoptive parents say they got got a call from Erica in February 2012 and she told them she was never coming back. They never reported her missing because they reasoned she was safe where she was at. They continued to collect support checks from the North Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) for Erica's care; the payments were for more than $600 a month. Casey and Sandy said they kept the money because they wanted to maintain Erica's health insurance.

    Authorities stated Sandy and Casey had been uncooperative with the investigation, hired an attorney and refused to submit to further interviews. Other members of the Parsons family described Erica as a very quiet, fearful child and said they had no idea she was missing. Casey and Sandy apparently told people Erica had gone to live with her birth grandmother, Irene "Nan" Goodman, in Asheville. This story turned out to be untrue, and Carolyn stated Erica has no family members living in Asheville at all. Authorities haven't been able to find evidence that Goodman exists.

    The DSS investigated allegations of child abuse in the Parsons home when Erica was two years old; there were complaints that Casey whipped her daughter with a belt and bruised her. The DSS could find no evidence of abuse, however. There have also been multiple domestic violence calls at the Parsons residence. Casey and Sandy maintain James reported his sister missing out of spite because they'd made him move out. He has a record for domestic violence and was arrested at least twice for assaulting family members. After Erica's disappearance was reported, the DSS removed the two youngest Parsons children from their home and placed them with a relative. In January 2014, following multiple court hearings on Casey and Sandy's parental fitness, a judge told them they would not regain custody of their other children until they produced Erica.

    Some members of Erica's extended adoptive family believe she may be dead. Relatives told authorities Erica was mentally and physically abused on a regular basis, particularly by Casey, and was kept isolated from other members of the family. Casey allegedly told others that she didn't like Erica, couldn't stand to look at her and didn't consider her to be her daughter. Erica was regularly seen with bumps and bruises on her arms and legs, injuries which Casey claimed were caused by other children in the family. At one point Erica went to stay with a relative because Casey no longer wanted to care for her. The relative said Erica was very small for her age at the time; she was six years old, but wore toddler-sized clothes. She began to gain weight after she went stay with this relative, but after eight months, Casey took her back because she was afraid the DSS would find out Erica was no longer living with her and stop the adoption assistance payments.

    In July 2014, a year after Erica was reported missing, Casey and Sandy were charged with seventy-six federal counts including tax fraud, mail fraud, theft of funds, and conspiracy. They accepted over $12,000 in adoption assistance payments for Erica's care after she went missing, listed her as a member of their household when they applied for other forms of government benefits, and claimed her as a dependent on their federal tax returns. Casey pleaded guilty to sixteen charges in early October 2014; later that month, Sandy was convicted of all the charges against him. In March 2015, Casey was sentenced to ten years in prison and Sandy to eight years. The sentencing judge said the case had troubled him more than any he had encountered in his entire career on the bench, and called the Parsonses "morally bankrupt."

    Erica's disappearance went unnoticed for so long in part because she was home-schooled and didn't have any profiles on online social networks. Police have not named any suspects or persons of interest in Erica's disappearance, but authorities believe foul play was involved in her case. Her disappearance remains unsolved.

    Sandy Casey
    Left: Sandy Parsons;
    Right: Casey Parsons


    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Rowan County Sheriff's Office


    Source Information
    WBTV News
    ABC News
    The Salisbury Post
    NBC Charlotte
    The Charlotte Observer
    Facebook Page for Erica Parsons
    USA Today
    WBTV 3
    WXII 12


    Updated 10 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated January 3, 2016; age-progression updated.

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