Investigators believe Erica Parsons was deceased before reported missing


CHESTERFIELD CO., SC (FOX 46) — UPDATE: 10/3/16 (3:00 p.m.): The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office along with the Rowan County District Attorney, SBI and the FBI held a news conference to release facts about the Erica Parsons investigation.

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office provided a timeline Monday on the case: 

  • Investigation started in 2013 when she was reported missing by her adoptive brother 
  • Shortly after Erica was reported missing, DSS came to the Parsons’ house and took away their other children 
  • FBI, SBI joined the investigation on August 8, 2013. A strategy was formed in this case among the FBI, SBI, and Rowan County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office would focus on the missing persons and child abuse aspect of the case, while FBI would focus on the possible fraud charges
  • August 12, 2013 – Erica Parsons’ case gained national notoriety. Erica’s adoptive parents, Sandy and Casey, went on the Dr. Phil show 
  • FBI conducted a search warrant
  • August 16, 2013 – The Parsons’ family said they were going to move
  • August 28, 2013 – Casey and Sandy moved to Fayetteville 
  • November 14, 2013 – A second search warrant was executed 
  • “Cold period” in the case
  • March 4, 2014 – Rowan County Sheriff’s Office conducted a state-wide check on Erica Parsons. Checked to see if she registered a drivers license or vehicle through the DMV
  • July 30, 2014 – Casey and Sandy arrested in Fayetteville on fraud charges
  • March 2014 – Casey and Sandy sentenced on fraud charges 
  • June 3, 2015 – Erica Parsons’ case shifted to death investigation
  • November 2, 2015 – New owners of Parsons’ home said they found bones on their property. Bones turned out to be animal, not human
  • February-May 2016 – Investigators started re-interviewing people
  • June 2016 – Tips lead investigators to discover there are possible human remains connected to Erica Parsons’ case
  • July-August 2016 – Investigators established communication line with Sandy Parsons
  • September 2016 – Investigators, Attorney’s Office determined and found a way to take Sandy Parsons into temporary custody. FBI, SLED, and the Sheriff’s Office transported him to Chesterfield County, SC where he led them to a shallow grave. The land where Erica Parsons’ skeletal remains were found was not property owned by the Parsons’ family

“We believe through this investigation Erica was deceased long before she was reported missing,” The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office said. 

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office said there has been “no agreements or deals made” in this case. 

The Sheriff’s Office said they’re hoping the Medical Examiner will give them further information to help decide what charges are most appropriate in this case.  

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Watch the news conference held by the Rowan County Sheriff: 


9/30/16 (6:00 p.m.): Chesterfield County Sheriff Jay Brooks never thought this case would end up so far away from where it started.

“It was just bones, the body was fairly intact. It’s just been there a long time,” Sheriff Jay Brooks explained.

Multiple federal, state and local law enforcement agencies came to Chesterfield County, South Carolina on a tip from Erica Parsons’ adoptive father, Sandy Parsons, saying he knew where her body was.

RELATED: Human remains found in South Carolina identified as missing Erica Parsons

“They led him into the woods. They came back a minute of two. And he was crying when he came out of the woods. They put him immediately in the car and left with him,” Sheriff Brooks said.

SBI brought in cadaver dogs right after and the dogs immediately got scent of where the body was buried.

“They started the very tedious work of exhuming the body. They worked about 20 to 30 minutes when they found the first piece of evidence. It then took 10 hours to complete the crime scene,” Sheriff Brooks said.

RELATED: U.S. Supreme Court rejects appeal from missing girl’s father

Sheriff Brooks said Investigators said they believe the body had been there since 2011 and they knew it was Erica Parsons due to a fracture on a bone in her arm that wasn’t set properly, from photo evidence of Erica with her arm wrapped in duct tape.

“It’s just sad that it had to end up like this,” Sheriff Brooks said.

FOX 46 Charlotte asked the Sheriff in his experience what he thought motivated Sandy.

“Guilt can be a powerful thing, especially when you are sitting there with nothing else to do. It can eat at you but I can’t speak as to what motivated this but I am just glad that it turned out like it did,” Sheriff Brooks said.

Carolyn Parsons, Erica’s biological mother, released this statement to FOX 46 Charlotte: “I won’t comment on the case but will say I’m glad she will be laid to rest and my heart is broken.”

Fox 46 Charlotte has learned two local companies are donating their services for Erica’s burial, Lyerly Funeral Home in Salisbury and West Lawn Memorial Park in China Grove.

Prevent Child Abuse Rowan is collecting donations for a memorial bench with an angel for Erica’s grave site. The cost of the bench is $5,000. If you’d like to donate to raise money for the memorial, click on this link or mail donations to:

Prevent Child Abuse Rowan County

130 Woodson Street

Salisbury, NC 28144

Be sure to indicate that you want the donation to go towards “Erica’s Angel.”

There will be a benefit concert to raise money for Erica Parsons’ memorials on Oct. 22 starting at noon at Tilley Harley-Davidson. The location is 653 Bendix Drive in Salisbury. The concert is free, but donations will be taken for Erica’s memorials.

Friends are also doing a raffle at the benefit concert to help Erica’s biological mother, Carolyn Parsons, with travel expenses. Carolyn lives out of state and has traveled to North Carolina for Erica’s funeral. If you would like to donate business services or items to be raffled, email

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