SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - Investigators announced on Thursday a $35,000 reward is being offered in connection with the Erica Parsons case, six months after she was reported missing.
On July 30, Erica Parsons' adoptive brother, Jamie, went to the Rowan County Sheriff's Office to report her missing. He told investigators that Erica had not been seen since late November 2011.
He reportedly told investigators that before she went missing Erica had been subjected to mental and physical abuse at the hands of her adoptive parents, Casey and Sandy Parsons.
"We are facing a difficult time, no doubt," investigators said. "Because of the amount of time that has passed since she was last seen and the delay in reporting it to law enforcment and the time we were notified has mamde a lot of hurdles for us to over come."
Sandy and Casey Parsons have maintained that they delivered Erica to a fast food restaurant in Mooresville where she was picked up by Erica's biological grandmother Irene "Nan" Goodman.
They claim Erica later called and said that she did not want to return to Salisbury.
Investigators said Thursday that Sandy and Casey have not been truthful when talking about the case.
"It is clear that Casey and Sandy Parsons have not been truthful and provided the information that would lead to the whereabouts to find Erica," investigators said. "We know that there's someone out there who can help us though, and now is the time to come forward."
"Sandy and I have been completely truthful in everything we know about this case. Rowan County has said from the start we are lying but we aren't," Casey Parsons told WBTV.
"Sadly the increase in the reward is probably to make the Rowan County Sheriff's office look good. We feel they stopped looking for Erica on the second day. Hopefully they are still looking for her but I doubt it. We are and will never give up!!"
Casey Parsons told us they have been truthful from the start, saying she feels investigators have stopped looking for Erica, but admitting she thinks the reward is a postive step.
In November, Casey Parsons admitted that she may have been duped by the woman she said was posing as "Nan."
In the time since Erica was reported missing there has been national media attention.
Salisbury residents call the case "bizarre."
"I feel like the parents definitely know something that they're not telling the authorities," said Ashley Cibas.
The FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children became involved.
Casey and Sandy Parsons went on national television on the Dr. Phil Show where Sandy failed a lie detector test when asked if knew what happened to Erica.
There have been several searches conducted by law enforcement, both at the Miller Chapel Road home where lived with Casey and Sandy and their other children, as well as property owned by Sandy's father, William Parsons.
A home in Rockwell where the family lived prior to moving to Miller Chapel Road was also searched.
The reward was increased to $35,000 on Thursday afternoon, federal and state investigators announced along with the Rowan County Sheriff's Office.
Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten and FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Deron Roberts made the announcement to the media.