Search warrant in Erica Parsons case: Dogs alerted on ‘possible presence of human remains’

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 23, 2013

Cadaver dogs indicated the possible presence of human remains during searches in October and November at a building on the property of missing teen Erica Lynn Parsons’ adoptive grandfather, court documents say.

That information was part of an affidavit requesting another search warrant for the red storage building, which was owned and used by Sandy and Casey Parsons, Erica’s adoptive parents. The warrant was served Nov. 14 but not returned to the court until Monday.

During the Nov. 14 search, investigators took one board and a jacket, but nothing else, according to the warrant.

Erica, 15, hasn’t been seen in Rowan County since November 2011 but was reported missing July 30 by her adoptive brother, James “Jamie” Parsons. James Parsons is the biological son of Sandy and Casey Parsons.

In August, Rowan County Sheriff’s Office investigators, along with members of an FBI evidence response team, searched the storage building behind William Parsons’ home on Sutton Road and took baby teeth, a hammer, pieces of a vacuum and other items.

On Oct. 21, investigators returned with cadaver dogs, according to an affidavit. Three of four dogs alerted on the red storage building, “which is reported to be an indication of the possible presence for human remains,” the court papers said.

The warrant says a more detailed search was not conducted at that time. But on Nov. 6, a K-9 handler and a dog searched the area around the red storage building again. The dog alerted on the building twice, “which indicates the presence of human remains,” the affidavit said.

The dogs were also deployed at Sandy and Casey Parsons’ Miller Chapel Road home and other place they have lived or visited in the past.

The court papers also say investigators had already begun to explore the possibility that Erica “may be deceased and her remains concealed at a yet unknown location.” Investigators have never said publicly they suspected the teen might be dead.

Sandy and Casey Parsons have said they allowed Erica to live with her biological grandmother, a woman they knew as Irene “Nan” Goodman, in Asheville. The couple said they met last saw Erica when they dropped her off with Goodman at a Mooresville fast food restaurant.

Investigators and other relatives have said Goodman doesn’t exist, and the teenager has not been found, despite the story making national news.

Sandy and Casey have not been charged in her disappearance but have been the subject of a law enforcement investigation.

Investigators have on multiple occasions spoken with family who have said the couple abused Erica, which the Parsonses have denied. Sandy and Casey hired Salisbury Attorney Carlyle Sherrill early in the investigation. Investigators have said the couple have not been cooperative.

The couple had lived at the Miller Chapel Road home since April 2011 until they were evicted by William Parsons, who owns the home.