SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - The attorney representing the adoptive parents of missing teenager, Erica Parsons, says the couple has a "strained relationship" with local authorities.
While talking with WBTV on Monday, Carlyle Sherrill said that Casey and Sandy Parsons feel federal agents are working to find their missing daughter, while local investigators are focusing on filing charges.
Erica Parsons, 15, was reported missing by her brother, James, on July 30th. James told Rowan County investigators that Erica had not been seen since November 2011.
Sherrill says the Parsons have been more comfortable talking with federal investigators about the case.
The attorney told WBTV that federal agents stopped an interview with adoptive mom, Casey Parsons, to tell Sherrill to remind Parsons that it is a crime to lie to the feds. They agreed to stop the interview and start again the next day.
While local investigators were conducting the execution of a search warrant on the Parsons' home, an investigator reportedly put Erica's adoptive father, Sandy, in the back of a police car and asked "accusatory questions", Sherrill told WBTV on Monday.
After that, Sandy reportedly called the FBI and said he and Casey will only talk with federal investigators.
Monday afternoon, a spokesperson for the Rowan County Sheriff's Office said "The Rowan County Sheriff's Office is part of a law enforcement team, which includes our office, NC SBI, and the FBI, which continues to work daily committing many resources in an effort to solve the Erica Parsons missing persons investigation."
Captain John Sifford said "specific details of the investigation will not be released to protect the integrity of this ongoing investigation."
Casey and Sandy Parsons reportedly told investigators that Erica had gone to live with a woman they refer to as "Nan."
Her real name was Irene Goodman, according to the Parsons, but an investigation by WBTV revealed that Irene Goodman did not actually exist.
The woman was supposed to be Erica's biological grandmother, but records pulled by WBTV show Erica's biological grandmother's real name was Cloie Goodman, who died in 2005 - six years before Erica was last seen.
Last week, the Parsons' attorney told WBTV that the couple was beginning to think they may have been duped by the woman they knew as "Nan."