DAVIDSON, NC (WBTV) - Carolyn Parsons last saw her daughter, Erica, back in 2011.
"I got to see her January 5, 2011, and she was height-wise smaller than me, built-wise way smaller than me," she said.
It turns out Erica Parsons died later that year. It appears only her adoptive parents, Casey and Sandy Parsons, knew the little girl was dead, but they kept quiet.
"I have no feelings whatsoever for Casey and Sandy. This is not the Sandy Parsons that I know," Carolyn Parsons said. "Sandy Parsons was in my wedding when me and his brother got married. This is the not the same little boy that I loved so much for at one time."
Carolyn Parsons said she knew Erica had been missing and that it wasn't reported for a year and half. She heard in court that her in-laws, Casey and Sandy - who adopted Erica - had been mistreating the little girl.
Wednesday, Carolyn Parsons learned new information that Rowan County investigators unveiled in a search warrant. According to the warrant, the abuse included "locking Erica in a closet, beating her with a belt buckle, bending her fingers back and choking her" - treatment a doctor told investigators was "child torture."
Investigators said Sandy Parsons told them Erica was dead. They said her body was "discarded on December 19, 2011" - six days before Christmas near his mother's house in Pageland, South Carolina.
"If you ask me what I think of him now, it's not appropriate to hate people - I know that. It's not appropriate to not be able to pray people, and believe you me I know that one too. I don't care. I despise every breath they're still allowed to take," Carolyn Parsons said.
She said she thinks about the day back in 2011 when she last saw her daughter.
"As an abused child myself, you don't know how many days I sit and wonder, 'what did I miss? What didn't I see?'" she said. "I didn't miss anything. I did not see anything. They did it in the winter time. She had on pants. She had on long-sleeved shirts. She was protected so that I wouldn't see the bruises so I wouldn't know what was happening."
Carolyn Parsons said she had no inkling that her daughter was in danger.
"That was family," she said. "They used to take my oldest child to the beach with them in the summer. Never had a reason to not trust them. I never had a reason to doubt that they wouldn't give her what I couldn't give her, which was a better home, a better life, more stability. I had no reason to doubt them. I had no reason to fear that my child would not be provided for."
Carolyn Parsons said after Erica was reported missing in 2013, she tried to meet with Casey and Sandy.
"I gave them ample opportunities," she said. "See me. If you don't want to tell the Sheriff's Department I don't care. If you don't want to tell the FBI I don't care. Tell me where she is. Tell me what you did. They never had the guts to face me and I still don't think that they do."
She said she's is at ease that her daughter's remains have been found.
"I'm glad she will have a proper resting place," she said. "I'm glad she is free."
Now, she's waiting for detectives to complete the investigation.
The Rowan County Sheriff's Office has not yet said how Erica died. No one has been charged.
Carolyn Parsons said she's watching closely.
"If this goes to court I'm going to be in the courtroom and in some form of fashion and I will be in that front row," she said. "They forgot one thing. They forgot that I'm her mama and I can be mean as at the next person."
These days, Carolyn Parsons has t-shirts with Erica's image imprinted.
"I also have necklace that I done. And me and my oldest child have one and Erica will be laid to rest with one," she said. "It says ELP on it. It's got 2/24/98 (Erica's birthday) and 12/17/11. That's the death date they're using."
Four years and nine months after she died, Erica Parsons' biological mother finally has a date of death for her daughter.