Casey Parsons, adoptive mother of missing girl, moved to Florida prison

Casey Parsons, adoptive mother of missing girl, moved to Florida prison
Archive photo (Robert Lahser | The Charlotte Observer)
Archive photo (Robert Lahser | The Charlotte Observer)
Erica Lynn Parsons (Source: FBI)
Erica Lynn Parsons (Source: FBI)

CHARLOTTE, NC (Mark Washburn/The Charlotte Observer) - Casey Parsons, adoptive mother of the missing Erica Parsons, has been transferred to a federal minimum-security prison in Florida to continue serving her 10-year sentence.

Parsons was imprisoned in March 2015 for financial crimes including cashing the girl's monthly assistance checks for more than a year after she disappeared from their Rowan County home.

Parsons, 41, had previously been at Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas.

During her sentencing hearing in Winston-Salem, Parsons' attorney, Alec Carpenter IV of Greensboro, asked U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder to request she be placed in a prison where she could receive treatment for an undisclosed disorder. Parsons has suffered for years from complications from a gastric bypass procedure.

According to the federal Bureau of Prisons, Parsons is scheduled to be released Jan. 3, 2024.

Federal Correctional Center Tallahassee is a minimum security prison with 1,113 female inmates. It is in the Florida panhandle on the edge of Tallahassee.

Appeals pending

Parsons has filed an appeal of her conviction. Her husband, Sandy Parsons, 42, who is serving an eight-year sentence for the crimes at Butner Federal Correctional Institution north of Durham, has also appealed his conviction.

Though the Parsonses were convicted of financial crimes, including tax evasion, the case opened a window into the investigation into Erica's 2011 disappearance when Assistant U.S. Attorney Anand Ramaswamy introduced evidence about it in a February 2015 sentencing hearing. Ramaswamy said he believed the girl was never found because she is dead.

Erica was adopted by the Parsonses as an infant, and the couple received monthly government assistance checks of $634 because Erica had hearing problems and a learning disability. Her biological mother had at one point been married to Sandy Parsons' brother, but Erica's father was another man.

Testimony of abuse

In the February 2015 hearing, her adoptive brother James Parsons, 21, and other members of the Parsons family described a pattern of physical and emotional abuse directed at Erica, including testimony that Casey Parsons encouraged the family's other children to abuse Erica from infancy.

James Parsons testified that he once broke Erica's arm, and shortly afterward decided he could no longer participate in the abuse.

Erica was fed dog food by Casey Parsons as punishment for stealing food or sweets, was often beaten, was frequently locked in a closet and was made to stand in a corner rather than play with other children, family members testified.

If Erica Parsons is still alive, she would have turned 18 in February.