Erica Parsons' adoptive mom speaks out year after reported missing

Jamie Parsons speaks out on adoptive sister Erica

ROWAN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - It seemed as though Erica Parsons had become a household name in the Rowan County area.

The little girl who was last seen by her adoptive family in December 2011 - but wasn't reported missing until July 2013  - somehow vanished. The case caught people's attention.

It has been almost a year now since Erica's adoptive brother, Jamie Parsons, reported her missing.

WBTV sat down with Erica's adoptive mother, Casey Parsons, to see what has happened over the last year.

"It's been hard" said Casey Parsons. "Very hard."

Parsons told WBTV that she and her husband, Sandy, moved away from Salisbury because of the "media, and people throwing stuff at us in the house. I've sat on the front porch, we had people pull up in the driveway to literally threaten to kill us, to throwing bottles at us."

For a while, Erica's missing persons case was front page, and headline news.

The Rowan County Sheriff's Office, SBI and FBI began investigating. They searched Erica's adoptive parents - Casey and Sandy Parsons' property in Salisbury. But, there was no sign of Erica.

Despite moving from Salisbury, no amount of distance could separate the Parsons from the case.

Investigators continue to question them.

"We'd do line-ups and look over people. It was a lot centered on even - like sex trafficking. Erica could be a victim of that," Casey says detectives told them.

But the way Casey Parsons tells it, during other sessions "some of the days when they would visit and talk and it would be centered around to us completely - that we're the ones that was completely responsible for Erica's disappearance. That we lied. We did this."

In a statement to WBTV, The Rowan County Sheriff's Office said, "The Parsons investigation is still an ongoing and active missing persons investigation. The investigative agencies involved with this case have had numerous tips in reference to Erica's disappearance."

So where could Erica be? Is she alive?

Casey Parsons says "Erica is alive. She is very much alive. Do I think Erica is going to be back? I sure do. When? I hope very soon. I pray that every night."

Casey and Sandy adopted Erica when she was just an infant. Erica's biological mother was a family member at the time, and didn't have the financial resources to take care of her children.

Casey is standing by her story that in December 2011, she and her husband took Erica to a woman who identified herself as Erica's paternal grandmother - Irene Goodman - but people called her 'Nan.'

She said two other women, 'Strawberry' and 'Kelly' were also there with Nan.

According to Casey, 'Nan' wanted Erica to spend a couple of weeks with her in Asheville.

Erica has not been seen by anyone in Rowan County since.

Police have said there is no 'Nan' and that Erica's paternal grandmother died years ago.

The Department of Social Services have since removed the Parsons' two youngest biological children from their home. The Parsons are trying to convince a judge to return their children.

According to Casey Parson, "The reason always has to be checked 'other' in the box. Toby and Sadie are considered neglected with the box checked because they have a missing sibling. That's the only reason they were removed from our house."

A federal grand jury has been hearing case about the Parsons.

Casey Parsons said her children were called to testify, and they told her they were asked "how we was as parents? The last time they saw Erica, stuff about Erica - how we treated Erica? How we treated them - Toby and Sadie?"

It was the Parsons's own son, Jamie, who told police that his parents abused little Erica, and possibly harmed her.

Casey Parsons said there's now a twist.

She said her son recently wrote his parents letters apologizing, saying he lied, and is promising to clear their names.

WBTV asked investigators if Jamie Parsons changed his story, and if detectives suspect Erica is a victim of sex traffickers.

The Rowan County Sheriff's Office said "It appears that Casey was very untruthful, misleading, and made every attempt to be deflective in accepting responsibility for the disappearance of Erica Parsons."

Casey and Sandy Parsons said they're doing their own investigating.

"My personal thing now  -there is no Nan but you gotta understand the lady that I met said her name was Nan. Until I find out different, I don't know what her name is," Casey said. "We're going to put posters. We're going to have drawings of Nan, of Strawberry, of Kelly, and what we think Erica looks like now."

The Parsons said they believe Erica's biological mother, Carolyn Parsons, has information that can help find Erica.

"I believe she is with Carolyn somehow. Directly - I don't know," Casey said. "It can't be coincidental that when we finally reveal to Carolyn that Erica doesn't want anything to do with you after seeing her at that restaurant - just a few weeks after that is when Nan appeared in our lives and knew so much about us - knew everything."

That veiled accusation is not sitting well with Erica's biological mother.

"What I say to that - you could believe me a hundred dollar bill to a donut hole - if I knew where my daughter was I'd go pick her up today," Carolyn Parsons told WBTV. "Casey and Sandy had Erica. Casey and Sandy are responsible for what happened to Erica."

Carolyn Parsons said she is planning a vigil on August 1 to commemorate the one year since her daughter was reported missing.

She said investigators have not said "a whole lot to me" but, "I want to know that's she safe. I want to know that she's okay. I want to know that she's alive."

Carolyn Parsons said she's giving Casey and Sandy "the opportunity to meet with me face to face" but with stipulations. "I will have two friends with me and it will be recorded in a manner of my choice. I don't trust them no further than I can throw them."

While the two mothers eye each other with suspicion - a daughter is missing.

No one has been able to answer two questions: What happened to Erica? And, where is Erica?

"Nobody can disappear off the face of this world. Nobody can. And I think she's being seen by somebody every single day of her life," Casey Parsons said. "She's alive. She's 16-years-old. She's not this little kid that people are showing you in these pictures. The age progression picture does not look like Erica."

Casey Parsons is building a website - "The website I'm hoping Erica will see. If not, somebody will see it that seen her."

Relatives who didn't see their adopted child for more than a year are hoping a stranger will see her... if she's alive.

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