ROWAN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Missing Rowan County teenager Erica Parsons was first reported missing two years ago, on July 30, 2013. The girl's brother, James, went to the Rowan Sheriff's Office and reported that Erica had not actually been seen by anyone for about a year and half.
Two years later there is still no sign of Erica, but many other things have changed.
Erica's adoptive parents, Sandy and Casey Parsons are serving eight and ten years respectively in federal prison for cheating the government out of federal adoption assistance money that was intended for Erica. They continued to collect the money for months after Erica had disappeared from their home on Miller Chapel Road in Salisbury.
Sandy and Casey Parsons maintained that they had taken Erica to live with her paternal grandmother, but investigators from the Rowan Sheriff's Office and the FBI have always said that the story was a lie.
During the federal fraud trial of Sandy and Casey Parsons, there was testimony from James Parsons that every member of his family had physically abused Erica. James Parsons told the judge that Erica was routinely made to live in a closet and given dog food to eat, and that Casey Parsons once bent Erica's fingers backwards so hard that they broke.
He said Casey never took Erica to the hospital, but created a homemade cast for her hand.
"She would beat her with a belt if she didn't listen," James Parsons said. "Mama would bend her fingers back."
James Parsons said that Erica would be beaten if she relieved herself while locked in the closet.
"Dad would hit her with his fist on top of her head," James Parsons said of his father, Sandy Parsons. At one point, the girl developed a bald spot because of scabbing, he said at the time.
James Parsons told the court that the last time he saw Erica was in November 2011, when she was standing in a corner as punishment.
"She didn't look too good, she looked like a zombie," he testified. "She said she did not feel good. She said she could not breathe too good."
James Parsons said Erica was gone the next morning, and he never saw her again.
A $50,000 reward is still in place for information about the disappearance and whereabouts of Erica Lynn Parsons. Anyone with information is asked to contact Rowan County Sheriff's Office 1st. Lt. Chad Moose at 704-216-8687.
Carolyn Parsons, the biological mother of missing Rowan County teenage Erica Parsons, is planning to hold a candlelight vigil in August in honor of her daughter.
The vigil will take place August 1 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Myers Park, 338 Lawndale Avenue, Concord, at Paul's Picnic Shelter.
Carolyn Parsons held a similar vigil last year at Granite Lake Park in Granite Quarry.