SALISBURY, N.C. — A Rowan County couple is speaking out after their teenage daughter disappeared nearly two years ago but was reported missing only a few weeks ago.
Casey Stone Parsons and Sandy Parsons spoke with various news agencies earlier this week, after their now 15-year-old adopted daughter Erica Parsons was reported missing.
The couple told The Salisbury Post they believe the teen is likely OK and simply too scared to come forward because police are looking for her.
Casey and Sandy Parsons told WBTV they didn’t do anything wrong. They said Erica went for a three-week Christmas visit with her grandmother, Irene Goodman, in 2011 and they believed she would be fine.
They said Erica called two months later to say she was wasn’t coming back – and they accepted it.
However, WSOC reported that no relatives of the teen could be found in Asheville.
Sgt. Dave Romick with the Asheville Police Department told The Salisbury Post on Friday that his agency is not actively involved in the investigation.
Romick said Asheville police have not been asked — by law enforcement or the Parsons family — to try to find Erica Parsons or Irene Goodman.
“We’re not doing anything until we’re asked or directed to by Rowan County or some other law enforcement agency,” he said, according to the paper.
Deputies said Erica’s adoptive parents initially talked with investigators, but became “increasingly uncooperative.”
Erica Parsons’ brother, James Parsons, reported the teen missing to the Sheriff’s Office on July 30. James Parson said she has not been seen since November 2011.
She was reportedly last seen on November 19, 2011 at a home along the 200-block of Miller Chapel Road in Salisbury when she was 13.
The Parsons said they believe their son reported Erica missing because he wanted to get revenge. Before she was reported missing, they said they kicked their son out of the house because he allegedly hit his mother.
James Parsons told investigators that his parents said Erica went to stay with other family members, when he asked where she was.
WBTV also spoke with Erica’s biological mother, Carolyn Parsons. Carolyn is a relative of Sandy and Casey Parsons.
“This is my kid. Imagine if it was you. How would you feel? I feel like I’m in somebody’s nightmare and they will not wake up and let me out,” she said.
Casey and Sandy Parsons’ attorney, Carlyle Sherrill, told WBTV that his clients were contacted by Erica’s birth mother in 2011. She introduced the family to a relative who lived in the Asheville area.
Sherrill said the Parsons let Erica visit her grandmother three times and after the third visit Erica never came back home.
“In February 2012, they received a phone call from her and she let them know in no uncertain terms she didn’t want to come back,” Sherrill told WBTV. “This is a rebellious teenager who seemed to be safe, seemed to be where she wants to be.”
Sherrill said the couple didn’t report Erica missing because they thought she just decided not to come back.
The Parsons said when Erica’s brother, James, went to investigators and said something was wrong, detectives showed up at their house.
“(Police said) we had killed Erica and buried her in our backyard,” Casey Parsons said. “We told them ‘Go do what you want to the house. Look. Go dig the yard up. Erica is not in this yard. Erica is fine. She’s with Nan – she’s with her grandmother’.”
Investigators said they have not found Erica. Police said the investigation is continuing and the Department of Social Services is now involved.
The Parsons said social workers took their two younger children.
“We had done nothing wrong to these kids or Erica. Nothing,” Casey Parsons said. “Even the social worker wrote on the paper we had nothing, there was nothing wrong with us to put our kids in danger.”
Casey Parsons said Erica was with her grandparent, completely safe and having fun.
“She loves Nan,” Casey Parsons said, referring to the grandmother. “I met Nan. I talked to Nan. Nan is a very good lady.”
The Parsons said they cooperated with police. The sheriff’s office said detectives checked out the information the Parsons gave them but police said the information didn’t pan out.
The couple said they then called an attorney because they started to feel like investigators suspected they had hurt Erica.
Erica is believed to be just over four-feet tall and is known to be small for her age. She had brown hair and brown eyes with fair skin.
The FBI joined in the search for Erica on Wednesday, according to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.
If you have information about Erica Lynn Parsons, you are asked to call the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office at (704) 216-8700.
Sherrill said he and the Parsonses have agreed to appear on the “Dr. Phil” show to share their story.