The adoptive parents of a slain North Carolina girl have been indicted for her murder and dismemberment nearly seven years after her disappearance.
The Charlotte Observer reported that nobody knows exactly when Erica Parsons died but authorities believe she was 12 or 13 when she vanished. On Monday, a Rowan County grand jury indicted her parents, Sandy and Casey Parsons, on charges of first-degree murder, felony concealment of death and obstruction of justice.
Erica was last seen alive in 2011–but it wasn’t until July 2013 that she was reported missing. Sandy, 44, and Casey, 43, originally told officers that their daughter was visiting relatives in the Asheville area, according to WRAL.
The couple is currently incarcerated on fraud charges related to Erica’s disappearance. The station reported that the couple were convicted in 2015 for continuing to cash checks from Medicaid and Social Security issued for the child despite her being missing.
Sandy was still jailed in August 2016 when he reportedly admitted that Erica’s body was “discarded” on December 19, 2011. The following month, Sandy led investigators to her remains, which were located in a shallow grave in Pageland, according to CBS News. The Observer noted that Erica’s remains were located a mile from where Sandy’s mother lived.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, an autopsy report stated that Erica died as a result of “homicidal violence.” The medical examiner speculated that Erica possibly died from strangulation, suffocation or blunt force trauma. The report also indicated that the teen suffered prolonged abuse, malnourishment, and possible untreated illnesses leading up to her death.
At their fraud trial, Jamie Parsons, the couple’s biological son, testified about how Casey would routinely break Erica’s fingers and how Sandy would punch her in the back and head. He also admitted to breaking Erica’s arm on one occasion, WBTV reported.
Jamie also recalled that Erica was forced to sleep on the floor of a closet, where she was also locked for hours at a time. Erica also wasn’t allowed to use the bathroom and her parents would beat her if she would relieve herself, he said. He claimed that his parents would withhold food from Erica and would force her to eat dog food, the station reported.
Officials said that a plea deal was never offered in exchange for information about Erica’s remains. Sandy is currently serving an eight-year sentence in Butner while Casey is serving 10 years in Tallahassee, Florida.
“It’s been a long time coming. Her [Erica’s] birthday would’ve been Saturday, she would’ve been 20 years old. So it’s kind of fitting that we’re at this point,” Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten said Tuesday.
“I just wish we could’ve had them arrested by her birthday.”
[Featured Image: Erica Parsons/WBTV]