SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - Investigators and prosecutors in Rowan County are now turning even more attention to the Erica Parsons case.
Erica Parsons was the young girl who was missing from home in Rowan County in 2011, but not reported missing until 2013. Her body was found in a shallow grave in South Carolina in 2016, and recent release of the autopsy showed that she had suffered a violent death.
Right after that autopsy was released, Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten said that he and his investigators would be working with the district attorney on possible charges, but they had to wait until a murder trial that involved all of the same players was over.
That trial ended on Wednesday with the conviction of Marlene Johnson for the stabbing death of Shirley Pierce.
As far as the Erica Parsons case goes, the sheriff said on Thursday that there is nothing new to report on the investigation and referred back to the comments made after the release of the autopsy.
That autopsy shocked many saying that Parsons' cause of death was "homicidal violence of undetermined means." The coroner wrote "we cannot exclude the possibility of a terminal blunt force injury, suffocation or strangulation."
The autopsy states that "fractures documented at autopsy are consistent with multiple blunt force injuries over a prolonged period, and the growth deficit and low bone density are consistent with malnourishment.
If there are charges, they would likely come against Erica's adoptive parents, Casey and Sandy Parsons, both serving time now in federal prisons on fraud convictions.
Having the likely suspects in federal custody has allowed investigators to take some time with this case, and with the Johnson trial finished, new developments could come sooner rather than later.
Any charges in the case would have to be taken before the grand jury to issue indictments, according to Sheriff Auten.