Sheriff: Investigators continue to look for answers in Erica Parsons’ disappearance

A computer generated age progression photo of Erica Lynn Parsons, courtesy of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
A computer generated age progression photo of Erica Lynn Parsons, courtesy of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten acknowledges there are many unanswered questions regarding the disappearance of Erica Lynn Parsons, but says his department continues to work with state and federal investigators to “find the answers.”

The sheriff’s office the FBI and the State Bureau of Investigation are working together to determine Erica Parsons’ whereabouts. She has been missing for nearly two years and was reported missing July 30 by her adoptive brother, Jamie.


The teen’s adoptive parents, Sandy and Casey Parsons, maintain they let Erica, now 15, live with her grandmother in Asheville. However, investigators and other family members have said Irene Goodman does not exist. They say the real grandmother, Chloe Goodman, died in 2005.

This is the first time Auten has issued a statement regarding the investigation. The statement was issued this afternoon and comes on the heels of the Parsonses saying they feel more comfortable talking with federal investigators.

The Post spoke with Sandy and Casey’s attorney, Carlyle Sherrill, on Monday and he said his clients feel as though local authorities are trying to “pin a crime on them.”

“Each agency has the same goals and objectives to uncover the exact circumstances that lead to Erica’s disappearance, to discover where she is right now, and to ensure her safe return,” the sheriff’s statement says.

The sheriff’s office and FBI work together to follow leads and they also send investigators out separately to accomplish the most progress towards finding Erica in the shortest period of time, the statement said.

The statement also said when investigators are not together, they are in constant contact to share information. It is not uncommon in law enforcement investigations for people to be more comfortable speaking to one officer, investigator or agent over another.

“I could give on-camera interviews and statements about this ongoing investigation every day, but that would be counterproductive to finding Erica. The people of Rowan County put their trust in me to uphold the law and to protect the citizens of this community. There are many unanswered questions at this time, but I will continue to call upon my own department’s resources as well as our state and federal law enforcement partners until we find the answers, until we find Erica,” Auten said.

See Wednesday’s Post for more details.

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