Sheriff: Search for missing teen should not be judged based on a timeline

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - The Rowan County Sheriff's Office is speaking out about the case of a missing teenage girl, reassuring the public that the right steps are being taken.

According to the Sheriff's Office, deputies have received tips and leads to follow regarding the Erica Lynn Parsons investigation. Parsons was reported missing in July after she was last seen nearly two years before.

"We are hearing from concerned citizens as well," the Sheriff's Office told WBTV on Friday. "We truly appreciate the outpouring of support for Erica and our efforts to find her."
Deputies are working with federal and state investigators investigating the teen's disappearance.

"No lead, no piece of information we receive is too small to follow as we attempt to locate Erica and fully explain the circumstances regarding her disappearance," deputies told WBTV. "We understand there is a great interest in this investigation, it is certainly an emotional situation for not only the public who wants a positive outcome and justice, but for those members of law enforcement who are involved as well."

Investigators want to point out that they cannot speak about details of the investigation to protect the integrity of the case.

"I can tell you that police investigations are not as clear-cut as they may seem to the public and should not be judged based on a timeline or quick arrests or charges," the sheriff's office said. "The goal of any investigation is to determine if a crime has been committed and if so, build a case on each and every law violated, and gather the evidence needed for a positive prosecutory outcome at trial."

"There are many layers to investigations and it can take time to thoroughly cover and exhaust each lead and each level," deputies continued.
According to the Sheriff's Office, many resources are being dedicated to locate Erica, and "we will not rest until we find her."

Anyone with information on Erica's whereabouts is encouraged to call the Rowan County Sheriff's Office at 704-216-8700.

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