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Sandy Parsons officially begins sentence for murder of adoptive daughter Erica Parsons in N.C. state prison

According to online records with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Sandy Parsons was admitted to Central Prison in Raleigh on Jan. 14, 2022.
Sandy Parsons, the adoptive father of Erica Parsons, pleaded guilty in the girl's death in...
Sandy Parsons, the adoptive father of Erica Parsons, pleaded guilty in the girl's death in Rowan County Criminal Superior Court on Dec. 17, 2019.(WBTV file (custom credit) | WBTV file)
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 4:34 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2022 at 4:59 PM EST
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ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Sandy Parsons, the adoptive father of Erica Parsons, has officially started serving his sentence for the murder of Erica in 2011.

According to online records with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Sandy Parsons was admitted to Central Prison in Raleigh on Jan. 14, 2022.

Sandy had previously been serving a sentence in a New Jersey federal prison for financial crimes. He was convicted of defrauding the government by continuing to accept federal adoption assistance money long after Erica Parsons was gone from the family home.

He had to finish serving the federal sentence before being transferred to North Carolina for the murder charge.

The marker on the grave of Erica Parsons lists the date of her death as December 17, 2011.

On December 17, 2019, Sandy Parsons pleaded guilty in her murder case, ending eight years of speculation, denials, and determined work by investigators.

Sandy Parsons was convicted and sentenced to serve between 33 and 43.5 years in prison on the charges, which include murder, child abuse, concealment of death and obstruction of justice.

By the judge’s sentence, the earliest that Sandy Parsons would be eligible for release from prison, would be when he is approximately 82 years of age.

Erica’s adoptive mother, Casey Parsons, pleaded guilty to murder and child abuse in Aug. 2019, and is serving a life prison term in addition to a federal sentence on a fraud conviction, and an additional 23 years.

The case began for investigators on July 30, 2013, when Erica’s adoptive brother Jamie Parsons went to the Rowan Sheriff’s Office to report that Erica had been missing from the family home on Miller Chapel Road since sometime in November or December of 2011.

Jamie Parsons, the biological son of Sandy and Casey Parsons, had been in a physical altercation with his parents and said they had kicked him out of the house.

That incident began a six-year odyssey that included a national television appearance on the Dr. Phil Show for Sandy and Casey, as well as the involvement of dozens of law enforcement officers from the local, state, and federal level conducting extensive property searches and hundreds of interviews.

From the beginning, investigators said that Casey and Sandy were lying about what happened to Erica. According to Casey, the teen had gone to live with her paternal grandmother “Nan” in Asheville.

In August, 2013, Sandy Parsons told WBTV that he knew Erica was still alive.

“There’s been sightings, I’ve had family members call me recently and say there was a sighting at a rest stop, we asked, why didn’t you call the cops, don''t wait an call us, call the cops," Parsons said. “The only thing I want right now is Erica to call home, tell us she’s safe, and get my two babies. Nobody realizes that there’s two small kids involved in this that do want to come home.”

In 2014 both Casey and Sandy were convicted in federal court of keeping federal adoption assistance money after Erica had disappeared from their home. Casey Parsons was sentenced to 10 years in prison, Sandy to 8 years.

Federal prosecutors also said at that time that the evidence indicated that Erica Parsons was dead.

The biggest break in the case came in 2016 while Casey and Sandy Parsons were both serving federal prison sentences. Sandy Parsons told investigators that he would lead them to where Erica was buried.

Sandy Parsons, under the watchful eye of prison guards, was taken out of prison and driven to property near to a house owned by his family in Chesterfield County, SC, where he pointed to a shallow grave in a heavily wooded area off Blair Hendrix Rd, in between the towns of Pageland and Mount Croghan.

“The guards that were with him took him into the woods and within a minute they were coming back out, and he was crying when he came back out,” Chesterfield County Sheriff Jay Brooks said at the time.

A cadaver dog indicated on the spot where Erica Parson’s body was discovered, Brooks said. Within 30 to 45 minutes, investigators began finding evidence. Bones were recovered at the scene. The North Carolina Medical Examiner’s Office positively identified the remains as Erica Parsons.

Court testimony in the fraud trials, as well as the plea hearings for both Sandy and Casey Parsons, painted a picture of Erica Parsons life as being filled with torture and abuse at the hands of her caregivers.

Sandy Parsons has allegedly admitted his “harsh treatment” of the girl, including beating her with a belt, bending her fingers backward, locking her in a closet and choking her. According to the warrant, UNC School of Medicine Dr. Cynthia Brown called the abuse “child torture.”

In 2018 the Medical Examiner’s office released Erica’s autopsy. 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. The description of the decedent just prior to her disappearance suggests she may have been the suffering from untreated infection/sepsis, rhabdomyolysis, renal failure, or poisoning at that time, all of which could have caused her death.”

The autopsy goes on to state that “Given the history of physical abuse, and signs of physical abuse present at autopsy, we cannot exclude the possibility of a terminal blunt force injury, suffocation or strangulation.”

In March of 2018 Casey and Sandy Parsons were charged with Erica’s murder. Casey Parsons was originally charged with first-degree murder, felony child abuse inflicting serious injury, felony concealment of death and felony obstruction of justice.

In August Casey Parsons, left, pleaded guilty to murder and child abuse in the death of Erica...
In August Casey Parsons, left, pleaded guilty to murder and child abuse in the death of Erica Parsons.((Rowan Sheriff's Office))

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