Brother who reported Erica Parsons missing speaks at custody hearing

Jamie Parsons and his aunt, Tammy Gray, speak to reporters outside the Rowan County Courthouse Tuesday.
Jamie Parsons and his aunt, Tammy Gray, speak to reporters outside the Rowan County Courthouse Tuesday.

Jamie Parsons, the adoptive brother of missing teenager Erica Parsons, spoke to reporters for the first time Tuesday, saying he reported her missing because it was important to him to speak out.

Erica, 15, has been missing for two years, but it wasn’t known until Jamie reported her missing on July 30. He spoke with Rowan County Sheriff’s investigators and told them he had not seen his adopted sister since November 2011, launching the agency into an extensive investigation into her disappearance.

His parents, Casey and Sandy Parsons, told investigators they let a then-13-year-old Erica go to live with a woman they knew as her biological grandmother, Irene “Nan” Goodman. The couple said they met Goodman at a Mooresville McDonald’s restaurant and left. It was the last time the Parsonses would see Erica. Investigators have not charged Sandy or Casey with a crime, nor have they released any new details regarding the case.

Family and investigators have said Irene Goodman does not exist. Casey and Sandy now say they were duped into believing Goodman was Erica’s paternal grandmother. Erica’s biological mother, Carolyn Parsons, has said her mother has been dead for some time. The family of Erica’s biological father, Billy Goodman, has said his mother is also dead.

Shortly after an investigation began, the Rowan County Department of Social Services placed the couple’s two youngest children in the custody of Shirley Stone, Casey’s mother. The parents have seen their two youngest children weekly during supervised visits.

The Parsonses reported to a Rowan County civil courtroom Tuesday morning for a hearing to determine whether they’ll regain custody of their youngest children.

District Court Judge Lillian Jordan, of Randleman, ordered everyone but the parties involved to leave the court hearing.

During a break for lunch, Jamie Parsons and his aunt, Tammy Gray, who is Casey Parsons’ sister, briefly spoke with reporters as they left the courthouse.

When asked why it was important to report his sister missing, Jamie Parsons quietly said, “I need to find Erica.”

A reporter asked Jamie if he would get his wish that his parents would never regain custody of his siblings, and Gray chimed in, saying “if there’s a God, I will.”

Gray said she witnessed repeated abuse. Other family members have said according to court papers, they too, witnessed abuse in the home.

Gray said the best outcome would be “that they never get to see their children again. That’s the only outcome I’m willing to accept.”

Casey and Sandy Parsons, who were sequestered in a conference room prior to the hearing, came out of the courthouse during a break, but did not speak.

It was nearly a month ago that the Parsonses were last at the Rowan County courthouse for a supervised visit.

Jamie Parsons testified on the witness stand during the hearing, which lasted until 5 p.m. The hearing resumes at 9:30 a.m. today

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Erica Parsons is asked to contact investigators at the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office at 704-216-8700 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245.

Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.

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