Warrant: Sandy Parsons admitted to physically abusing Erica

Warrant: Sandy Parsons admitted to physically abusing Erica
Sandy and Casey Parsons (WBTV/File)
Sandy and Casey Parsons (WBTV/File)

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - For the first time, the adoptive father of Erica Parsons has admitted inflicting physical abuse on the young girl whose body was found in a shallow grave in Chesterfield County in late September, according to a search warrant.

Erica Parsons was reported missing from her home in Salisbury in July 2013, but had not been seen since November 2011.

Now, according to a warrant obtained by WBTV, Sandy Parsons says Erica Parsons body was "discarded" on December 19, 2011.

RELATED: Sheriff: Erica Parsons' adoptive father led investigators to her body

Erica Parsons was 13 years old at the time of her death.

Sandy Parsons and his wife Casey are both serving sentences in separate federal prisons after being convicted of fraud for taking federal adoption assistance money meant for Erica long after the teenager was gone from their home.

Investigators conducted several interviews with Sandy Parsons since his conviction.  According to the warrant, Sandy Parsons admitted his "harsh treatment" of Erica.

"The treatment included, but was not limited to, locking Erica in a closet, beating her with a belt buckle, bending her fingers back and choking her," the warrant states.

UNC School of Medicine Dr. Cynthia Brown characterized the treatment of Erica as "child torture."

The warrant also lays out exactly how investigators from Rowan County were able to locate Erica's remains in South Carolina.

The warrant states that in August, Sandy Parsons acknowledged to Rowan County Sheriff's investigator Chad Moose that Erica was dead. Sandy Parsons described the treatment Erica received, and the disposal of her body.

Sandy Parsons said that the body was discarded on December 19, 2011, and that it could be found off Taylor Chapel Road in Pageland, SC., near the home of his mother.


Investigators worked with Rowan County District Attorney Brandy Cook to obtain a release for Sandy Parsons to get out of prison so that he could show investigators where to find the remains.

On September 20, and Order for Custody of a Federal Inmate was issued by a judge, allowing an Escort Team to take custody of Sandy Parsons and bring him from the Butner prison to Pageland so that he could "show the location of Erica Parsons clandestine grave."

The body was recovered in that location, and Sandy Parsons was returned to the prison at Butner.

The remains were sent to the North Carolina State Medical Examiners Office where they are being processed.

The statements in the warrant attributed to Sandy Parsons echo statements made during testimony given at his sentencing hearing in October, 2013.

Erica's adoptive brother Jamie Parsons, took the stand during the hearing and testified that nearly everyone in the family had abused Erica routinely.

He admitted that he, Casey, Sandy and his sister, Brooke, had all abused her.

According to his testimony, Casey would often break Erica's fingers by bending them backwards. She would then make her own cast for Erica's fingers and would not take her for medical assistance.

Jamie testified that Sandy would often get mad and punch Erica with his fist in the back and the top of her head.

Erica was forced to live in a closet with the clothes, Jamie testified, and was often locked in the closet for hours at a time. There was no bed in the closet and she was forced to sleep on the floor.

She was not given access to a bathroom, he said in court, and when Casey found out that Erica had relieved herself she would be beaten, Jamie said. He also said food was often withheld from Erica and she was forced to eat dog food out of a can.

The night Jamie last saw Erica, in November 2011, he says she was standing in the corner being punished.

"She looked like a zombie," he said in court. He said her face was pale white and she told him that she "didn't feel good, couldn't breathe too good."

When Erica told Casey that she didn't feel well, she reportedly told Erica to "shut the [expletive] up" and Jamie went to bed, he testified.

The next morning, he says Casey and Sandy weren't home when he woke up.  They didn't return until later in the day and when they did, Jamie says, Sandy looked sick, "like he was about to throw up," and didn't talk.  Casey looked normal, he said.

Jamie says when he asked Casey where Erica was, she told him they took her to her grandmother's house.

Casey and Sandy continue to say they delivered Erica to a grandmother named "Nan" who lived in the Asheville area. Local law enforcement and the FBI have repeatedly said that "Nan" does not exist.

Despite an extensive investigation by the Rowan Sheriff's Office, the SBI, and the FBI, no trace of Erica Parsons, dead or alive, was ever been found until Sandy Parsons began cooperating with investigators following his sentencing.

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