Local News

Autopsy: Erica Parsons suffered years of abuse, malnourishment

Posted January 9, 2018 4:48 p.m. EST
Updated February 20, 2018 1:29 p.m. EST

— Erica Parsons, a Rowan County teenager reported missing in 2013, died as a result of “homicide violence of undetermined means,” according to an autopsy released by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on Tuesday.

​Parsons, whose remains were found in September 2016, was reported missing by a relative on July 30, 2013. The relative told investigators she hadn’t seen Parsons since November 2011, when Parsons was 13 years old.

Parsons’ adoptive parents told authorities she went to stay with relatives in the Asheville area and had not been seen since. Investigators knew that information was false, but it took years to find her.

The autopsy report showed that Erica had multiple "blunt force injuries over a prolonged period, and the growth deficit and low bone density are consistent with malnourishment."

In the week prior to her disappearance, Erica's siblings described her as looking grey with sunken eyes, smelling bad with open, oozing cuts, very weak and complaining of not being able to breathe, the autopsy report said.

Parsons’ adoptive parents, Sandy and Casey Parsons, are serving federal prison sentences for fraud related to her disappearance. Testimony at their trial unveiled a pattern of abusing Erica, who lived with the family from 2000 until she disappeared. They have not been charged with her death.