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Parents of Erica Parsons Now Face Murder Charges

CMPD file photo

First-degree murder charges will be filed against Casey and Sandy Parsons in the death of their adopted daughter, Erica.

The charges were announced today by the Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten and come more than seven years after the 13-year-old from Rowan County is believed to have been killed. The case received intense scrutiny from law enforcement ever since Erica was first reported missing in 2013 by her adopted brother, who said no one had seen her for almost two years.

In 2014, Erica’s adopted parents were arrested and later convicted of federal fraud charges related to accepting monthly assistance checks for more than a year after Erica’s disappearance. Last year, investigators were led by Sandy Parsons to a grave containing Erica’s remains, and yesterday, a grand jury indicted both him and his wife on four charges, including first-degree murder and felony child abuse.

At today’s press conference, Auten said investigators are relieved to have the indictments.

"We’re very proud to be where we are today," Auten said. "A difficult case. At times we had a lot of hope we’d find Erica. Then we hoped we would find her remains. And now we’re just ready to move on with the prosecution.

“Her birthday would have been Saturday," Auten added. "She would have been 20 years old, so it’s kind of fitting that we’re at this point. I just wish we could have had them arrested by her birthday.”

Currently, both Sandy and Casey Parsons are in prison for financial crimes. They will both be formally charged once brought to the sheriff’s office.