ROWAN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - The youngest children of Sandy and Casey Parsons will not yet be returning to the home of their parents.
On Thursday, a judge in Rowan County refused to make a final decision and ruled that the two youngest children of Casey and Sandy Parsons will continue to live with Casey Parsons' sister and her husband, for now.
Following the hearing on Thursday, Casey Parsons said "we won" when she left the courthouse.
Casey Parsons aunt, who does not want the children going back to their home, said they were relieved that nothing would be changing.
"For today we're just relieved that the kids are staying with their aunt and that things are just the same, nothing has changed. It's just like it was, so that was a relief for the whole family," said aunt Angela Laubscher.
Another hearing has been set for 90 days from now.
The children initially had been living with their grandparents since July when they were taken from their parents' home on Miller Chapel Road in Salisbury. A few weeks ago, they were moved to live with Casey Parsons' sister and her husband.
The children were taken by the Department of Social Services when law enforcement began investigating the disappearance of Erica Parsons, the adopted daughter of Sandy and Casey Parsons.
Erica Parsons has been missing for more than two years, but was only reported missing this past July by her adoptive brother.
Since then there has been an extensive criminal investigation into the case involving the Rowan Sheriff's Office, the SBI, and the FBI. Investigators have said publicly that they do not believe the story told by Sandy and Casey that they took Erica to live with a woman named "Nan."
The custody hearing for the children has taken place over several days in the last few months. It has featured testimony from family members and other individuals.
In December, the judge determined that a pattern of abuse had existed in the home, particularly during the time that Erica Parsons was living there.
Sandy and Casey Parsons were hopeful for reunification with the children.
On Thursday, the judge set a list of requirements that must be met by Casey and Sandy, including drug testing and anger counseling for Sandy Parsons.
The judge also ruled that the Parsons must prove that Erica Parsons is alive or explain what happened to her without sparking any criminal charges.
In August, Sandy Parsons told WBTV that having the children back in their home, and having Erica to call and say that she was okay, were the most important things in his life.
Casey Parsons recently told WBTV that she was confident that the children would be returned to the home.