Local News

Remains of Erica Parsons found 5 years after disappearance

Posted September 29, 2016 8:33 p.m. EDT
Updated February 20, 2018 11:33 a.m. EST

— The FBI confirmed Thursday night that the remains of Erica Lynn Parsons were found Tuesday.

Parsons 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.

Parson’s adoptive parents had said she went to stay with relatives in the Asheville area and had not been seen since. Investigators determined that information was false, but they were unable to locate her.

In August, investigators with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI obtained information that led them to believe Parsons was deceased.

On Tuesday, the skeletal remains of a young girl were recovered outside Rowan County by agents with the FBI and State Bureau of Investigation. The remains were taken to the North Carolina Medical Examiner’s Office, where they were identified as Parsons.

The sheriff of Chesterfield County, S.C., said the remains were located in his county. Authorities said a news conference would be held sometime next week to provide more details of the investigation.

"The recent discovery of Erica Parsons’ remains is heartbreaking. There is no way to adequately explain the collaborative efforts between law enforcement agencies and prosecutors who have worked tirelessly for the past three years to find Erica," John Strong, FBI special agent-in-charge in Charlotte, said in a statement. "As the case moves forward, determining exactly how Erica died and whether or what criminal charges apply will be a state issue. The FBI will continue to offer support as appropriate to our law enforcement partners at the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office as their work continues."

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.

Investigators said Casey and Sandy Parsons have been uncooperative, but neither has been charged so far in Erica's disappearance or death.