CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - The adoptive father of Erica Parsons led investigators to her body this week, Chesterfield County Sheriff Jay Brooks told WBTV Friday.
Sandy Parsons is currently serving a federal prison sentence for fraud charges in connection with cashing adoption assistance checks.
Brooks said Sandy Parsons, under the watchful eye of prison guards, 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," Brooks said.
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.
The case is being investigated by the Rowan County Sheriff's Office. So far, no charges have been announced in connection with Erica Parson's death. Chesterfield County is an assisting agency.
"I'm grateful that the family that did care about her has some closure. The sheriff of Rowan County certainly deserves all the credit in the world, they've worked thousands and thousands of man hours on this case," Brooks said.
Brooks said bones were recovered at the scene. The North Carolina Medical Examiner's Office positively identified the remains as Erica Parsons.
"It can't help but make you really step back and think and as soon as you get through, call your kids," Brooks said.
According to Brooks, investigators with the FBI, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, and Chesterfield County Sheriff's Office spent all day on scene.
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"They had sifters and everything else they took a pretty big area and sifted every bit of the sand to make sure that we found everything that could possibly be here," Brooks said.
Friday, some of Erica Parsons' family members and friends came to the scene and cried. They asked members of the media for privacy.
"It is hard, it's just hard," Brooks said.
Sandy Parsons' mother and step-father live within two miles of the crime scene. WBTV contacted Parsons' step-father Friday, who said he and Parsons' mother's nerves were shocked.
He told WBTV that they did not own the land where Erica Parsons' body was found, but said they rent a house nearby. Sandy Parsons' step-father told WBTV that his stepson would visit a couple of times a year, particularly for holidays.
Occasionally, he said, Erica Parsons was with him. He told WBTV he had not seen the girl since 2008 or 2009.