Search warrants paint disturbing picture of Erica Parsons life
SALISBURY, N.C. —Two warrants released Thursday in the case of a missing Rowan County teenager reveal new details about what investigators have found while trying to determine what happened to the girl.
One warrant looks into the financial records of the adoptive parents of 15-year-old Erica Parsons, Casey and Sandy Parsons. It is not very detailed, but it states that officers believe the couple wanted to keep using funds they received from the state for Erica’s adoption, which is why they either hid or delayed reporting that she was missing.
According to one of the warrants, the Parsons admitted to continuing to receive financial aid from the state after Erica was gone. Investigators also documented that when Casey Parsons was interviewed about Erica, she referred to the teen in the past tense.
The second warrant is the search warrant executed on the couple’s home Wednesday afternoon. About a dozen local, state and federal investigators searched the home on Miller Chapel Road near Salisbury. They spent more than 12 hours at the home collecting evidence, poking holes in the back yard and marking the ground with orange flags.
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office said the items collected will be taken to an FBI laboratory for analysis. The sheriff’s office does not know when the results of that analysis will be returned.
The search warrant states that investigators took electronics, bank slips, school records, notebooks, letters between family members and two knives wrapped in shrink wrap. They also took swabs of the walls inside some closets, behind some doors and behind a TV. They removed pieces of carpet and drywall.
To see more on what investigators took out of the home, click here.
Casey Parsons hospitalized
Meanwhile, Casey Parsons remains hospitalized. Eyewitness News learned Parsons was admitted to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center late Wednesday. She is listed in good condition after emergency surgery on her stomach.
Channel 9 saw Sandy Parsons and his son leave the house, heading to Wake Forest Baptist in Winston-Salem.
Friends and neighbors told Channel 9 that Parsons has battled gastro-intestinal issues for years after gastric-bypass surgery.
Parsons’ attorney, Carlyle Sherrill, told Channel 9 that complications with her stomach and colon are what led to her trip to the emergency room sometime after returning from Los Angeles, where the Parsons taped a segment on the Dr. Phil Show about Erica’s disappearance.
“I don’t know that it had to do with stress, they are just doing the surgery right now. She is in the hospital and he is going to be by her side right now,” Sherrill said.
Casey was scheduled to be interviewed by the FBI on Thursday morning, along with Sandy, but with her emergency trip to the hospital, it is unclear when investigators will talk to her.
Warrants detail alleged abuse against Erica Parsons
Channel 9 has learned more from the warrants about the alleged abuse that Erica Parsons endured. The warrants lay out some very serious abuse allegations that paint a disturbing picture of Erica's life.
The family's attorney cautioned against taking those allegations as fact. He said the two parents are doing everything they can to find Erica.
Allegations of physical abuse, emotional abuse and distain toward Erica are laid out in the warrant.
Read more about the abuse allegations here.
Parsons’ attorney addresses financial allegations in warrants
Also Thursday, FBI agents met with the Parsons’ attorney, Carlyle Sherrill, and Sandy Parsons. Sandy Parsons left the attorney’s office without answering reporters’ questions. Sherrill did not address questions about the knives or possible blood stains documented in the warrants. He said the couple is doing everything they can just to find Erica.
Sherrill said the investigators would throw anything in warrants in order to get probable cause to search. He said family members are making up stories.
The attorney also addressed the financial allegations, that the Parsons collected financial aid meant for Erica’s custodians even after she was gone. According to the warrants, the Parsons admitted to collecting state aid for Erica even when she wasn’t living with them.
The SBI officials that applied for the financial warrant said that, “it is believed that the continued desire to utilize the funds, proceeds or financial assistance intended for the care of benefit of Erica Lynn Parsons resulted in the delay or outright denial to report Erica Lynn Parsons missing,” in a timely manner.
The warrant went on to say there is “probably cause to believe that a crime, obtaining property by false pretenses has occurred” and that financial records could help in that investigation.
Warrant: Adoptive mother told investigators Erica Parsons went to Asheville
Erica Parsons had not been seen in nearly two years when her adoptive brother reported her missing two weeks ago.
Her adoptive parents told investigators she went to live with her biological grandmother in Asheville, but Rowan County detectives said they found out that wasn’t true.
Read more on what investigators said about the possibility of Erica being in Asheville here.
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office has requested an age progression photo of Erica Parsons from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Investigators will release it as soon as it becomes available.