Online messages show contradictions in story of missing teen

Published: Sep. 4, 2013 at 9:41 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 11, 2013 at 9:49 PM EDT
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SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - Newly obtained online conversations are revealing new details in the case of a missing teenage girl who was reported missing in July, nearly two years after she was last seen.

According to the Rowan County Sheriff's Office, 15-year-old Erica Parsons was reported missing on July 30 by her brother, James. James told investigators that he hadn't seen Erica since November 2011.

Sandy and Casey Parsons, Erica's adoptive parents reportedly told James that Erica had gone to live with her biological grandmother in Asheville. They have repeated that same explain in interviews with WBTV and on national interviews on the Dr. Phil show.

The Parsons said they haven't spoken with Erica since February 2012.

But online conversations obtained by WBTV show Casey Parsons giving Erica's biological mother updates on the teen's life as recently as March 2013.  The conversations were obtained by WBTV reporter David Whisenant and confirmed as accurate by Erica's biological mother, Carolyn.

The conversations started in May 2010.

"I thank God everyday you gave us Erica," Casey Parsons told Carolyn. "I know that was very hard, but at that time you made the right choice. She is a beautiful young lady."

She then goes on to say that one day Erica will want to meet Carolyn.  She also asks Carolyn not to tell "big Sandy" that she's giving her updates about Erica.

"It's just that big Sandy goes along with his daddy and you know how Steve feels," Casey Parsons wrote. "But it has always hurt me because I know how you felt about your kids and I know you have always loved your kids. I thank you so much Carolyn for giving me Erica!! We love her so much. I can't even think about life without her."

On January 5, 2011, conversations state that Casey, Erica and Carolyn met at a restaurant in Mooresville so Carolyn and Erica could meet for the first time in years.

Casey told Carolyn that Erica was quiet when she got home and Casey believed that Erica was thinking about everything.

The trio was supposed to meet again a month later, but Casey wrote to Carolyn and said she wasn't sure when another visit would be possible.

"I am mainly waiting until Erica tells me she wants another visit," Casey wrote. "Right now she hasn't really said a word. The only thing she really has said is to let her decide when she wants to visit again. So I don't want to push her. Erica and I are very close and I don't want her to feel she is losing me."

And for the first time since she went missing, we're hearing from Erica Parsons in her own words.

In a set messages reportedly written on Casey's account, but signed by Erica in February 2011, the teenager told Carolyn that is was nice to meet her, but that she didn't want to come to her house.

"These are my mom and dad and I don't think as you being my mom. Maybe in a long time I will see you again," the message stated. "Please stop writing my mom because I don't like her talking to you a lot. I don't mean to be mean because I am not a mean person I just want my mom and me to be close and we can't with you around."

She went on to say that she loved Casey and thanked Carolyn for giving birth to her.

Several days later, in reference to Casey being sick, Erica reportedly told Carolyn if Casey didn't get better, she'd say with Sandy, her adoptive father.

"I also stay with my Maw Maw when Mom is feeling bad," Erica wrote. "My Mom said she would help me find my birth father. I don't want but one mom and Casey is my Mom and the only one I want. I love her very much."

Carolyn told Erica that she never wanted her to think of her as "mom" and just wanted to get a chance to know her.

"U [sic] also have other brothers and sister to [sic]," Carolyn responded. "Is that [sic] any way u can give me chance and get to know me."

The Parsons told investigators and WBTV that Erica went to live with her biological grandmother in November 2011 and the last conversation they had with her was a phone call on February 2012.

During that time there was numerous messages sent from Carolyn to Casey. The messages were unreturned.

Nearly a year later, Casey finally responded to a message.

"Carolyn, Erica is doing perfect. Don't know why all these rumors are floating around about where she is. Sandy and I still have custody of Erica and she is our daughter," Casey wrote on February 2013, a year after she told investigators she last spoke to Erica. "We are, as parents, can allow our children to spend the night or even week with anyone who we see fit. Erica is still OUR daughter."

Casey told Carolyn that she hasn't sent her any new pictures or updates because Erica asked her not to.

"I'm not going to be mean. I have never hated you and I never will," Casey Parsons wrote."You have been through a lot in you life.  I talk with Erica and try to explain this so she will start to accept you. Just today I said something to her. It takes time. Please don't worry about her."

She then says the three of them could probably meet again soon, saying she thought Erica would agree to it.

"Everything you did for her was done out of love," Casey wrote."One day Erica will see this!! She's a teenager and you know what that is like."

There are several similar conversations over the next few months, including one in which Casey tells Carolyn that they recently had a family portrait made at "Young's Studio" in Locust. She says when the pictures were ready, she would send a copy to Carolyn.

In their final conversation in March 2013, Casey told Carolyn that it might be a while before she writes again because she's rarely on the computer.

She says Brook, another daughter of the Parsons, and Erica were going to Asheville for the weekend. She told Carolyn that Erica was getting tutoring in math from a family friend.

She talked about Erica getting her driver's permit and mentioned that they would have to get special pedal extensions for her, because of her height, before she could drive.

Casey told Carolyn that someone had hacked her Facebook account and had been sending out weird messages.

Anyone with information on Erica's whereabouts is encourage to call the Rowan County Sheriff's Office at 704-216-8700.

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