Detective Lt. C.A. Moose listed “missing person” and “identity theft” as the crimes suspected in his application for a warrant to search Sandy and Casey Parsons' home and minivan.
Here are excerpts from the affidavit Moose filed:
“During the course of the investigation Sheriff's investigators began speaking with other family members ... Written and signed statements of more than five of these family members revealed a troubled relationship with Erica Parsons and Sandy and Casey Parsons.
“In these statements Erica Parsons is described as very small for her age and rarely interacting with the family and extended family. Several of these statements describe Casey Parsons as abusive and described Casey telling family members that Erica was grounded or being disciplined for something. Erica was often made to stand in a corner while being punished.
“The family members stated Erica always seemed to be 'grounded' and never allowed to interact with the family.
“In a statement another child in the home told the family member that Casey took a toy gun and broke it while hitting Erica with the toy. ...
“... Casey Parsons told a family member that she couldn't tolerate Erica, that she does not claim Erica as her daughter. In another statement, investigators were told that Casey Parsons told a family member that she can't stand to look at Erica and said she reminds her of Carolyn (Erica's birth mother) and she hates Carolyn.
“These statements also described constantly seeing bruises and bumps on Erica's arms and legs that made them feel Erica was being struck by family members. Casey always blamed these marks on another child in the family.
“...(W)hen Erica Parsons was 6 years old Casey Parsons called family members and asked them to take Erica because she couldn't stand to look at her. Casey brought the child to a family member's house to live and showed them bruises that were described as 'all over Erica's butt.' This family member stated Casey Parsons said she lost control and beat her.
“Erica lived with this family member for about 8 months. This family member stated Erica was very small and was in first grade and wore 3T size clothes. While living with this family they stated that Erica ate and played like normal and began to gain weight. ... Erica told them that Casey and Sandy hit her. This family member stated that after about 8 months Casey Parsons came and took Erica back and stated she was afraid that DSS would find out she didn't have her and she was still getting money for her.
“... Casey and Sandy Parsons held more than one interview with the local news media. During these public news conferences this applicant noted that Casey Parsons often referred to Erica Parsons in the past tense ... 'She was a teenager' and 'She was with her grandparent.' ... In comparison Carolyn Parsons Erica's biological mother ... spoke of Erica in the present tense as in one quote saying 'She is my biological daughter. I want her to know that I do still love her.'...
“The choice of Casey and Sandy Parsons to not speak with investigators without an attorney and the decision to speak with television reporters seemed unusual.”
Among the items seized from the Parsonses, according to the warrant, were:
• Two handwritten letters on yellow paper addressed to Casey and signed by Carolyn Parsons
• A letter from Casey to Sandy Parsons
• A book and a bag of magazines about JonBenet Ramsey, the Colorado 6-year-old found murdered in her parents' home in 1996. (The case has never been solved.)
• Cellphones, cameras and computers
• Correspondence, bills and documents, including a birth certificate, adoption paperwork, school papers and Medicaid enrollment
• Red-stained drywall cut from a closet area, pieces of stained baseboard from the closet and a swab of the door jamb
• Stained carpet from a closet
• A pair of Arizona-brand pants with red stains
• Other swabs of spots on walls
• Two large knives wrapped in shrink wrap
• A white envelope sealed with “Erica Theeth” (cq) and object
• A pink diary book
A warrant filed by SBI Special Agent S.S. Gregory III detailed the history of the Rowan County investigation and added financial details:
“On Monday, August 12, 2013, I spoke with Farmers and Merchants Bank Corporate Security Officer T.R. Barber and asked for assistance in locating any institutions where Sandy Parsons Sr., Casey Stone Parsons, and Erica Lynn Parsons had checking accounts, savings accounts, or other financial accounts. Barber sent this request through a network of regional Corporate Security Officers ...
“On Tuesday, August 13, 2013, I received an email response from BB&T Corporate Investigations Officer Kevin Hampton. Hampton reported that he had been able to find BB&T accounts for Casey Stone Parsons and Sandy Parsons Sr., and that there was recent activity for Casey Stone Parsons' account.
“... I spoke with FBI Special Agent Tara Cataldo in reference to this investigation. She informed me that the FBI had found records through the PayPal account of Sandy Parsons Sr. and Casey Stone Parsons (and) that the Parsons had financial accounts with SunTrust Bank, Wachovia (now Wells Fargo) and Bank of America.
“It is believed that the continued desire to utilize the funds, proceeds or financial assistance intended for the care or benefit of Erica Lynn Parsons ... resulted in the delay or outright denial to report Erica Lynn Parsons missing in a timely or reasonable time frame.
“I submit that there is probable cause to believe that from November/December of 2011 to the present date, Erica Lynn Parsons has not lived in the care and custody of Casey Stone Parsons and Sandy Parsons Sr., and that during this period of time Casey Stone Parsons and Sandy Parsons Sr. received some type of government assistance for keeping Erica Lynn Parsons in their care and custody.
“I further submit that this institutes probable cause to believe that a crime, obtaining property by false pretenses, has occurred, and that evidence of this crime can be found in the financial documents maintained by BB&T, Wachovia Bank and Trust (Wells Fargo), SunTrust Bank and Bank of America for the time frame requested, August 1, 2011 through August 1, 2013.”