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Parsonses a no-show for custody hearing

Sandy and Casey Parsons, the adoptive parents of missing teen Erica Parsons, were a no-show for a Thursday custody hearing that would’ve likely determined if the couple would lose all parental rights to their two youngest children.

Casey Parsons was taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, but it is unclear what medical issue led her to the Winston-Salem hospital. Janet Parsons, the stepmother of Sandy Parsons, attended the hearing and currently has custody of Sadie and Toby.

The Parsonses were thrust into the spotlight after their son, Jamie Parsons, reported to law enforcement that he had not seen his sister since November 2011. The couple said they let Erica live with her biological grandmother, Irene Goodman, a woman they knew as Nan. The Parsonses said Goodman took Erica to live with her in Asheville. However, Rowan authorities and family members say there is no Irene Goodman.

The pair have not been charged, but investigations continue to look into Erica’s disappearance.

Sadie and Toby, were removed from the home the same week Erica was reported missing and Rowan Social Services placed them in the care of Casey’s mother and father, Shirley and James Stone. Casey and Sandy continue to have supervised visits with the children and have maintained they want their children back with them.

Sandy and Casey were arrested in July on a 76-count indictment for mail fraud, tax fraud, identity theft and other charges. The indictments say the Parsonses received government-funded adoption assistance, Medicaid, Social Security, and Food and Nutrition Services benefits for a Erica who did not live with them and used the mail to commit the fraud.

During an October hearing, reunifying the Parsonses with their two young children was no longer an option. Later the same month, Sandy was found guilty on nearly all of the fraud charges.

Casey Parsons, 39, accepted a plea agreement in September and is expected to be sentenced Feb. 10. Sandy Parsons, 40, will be sentenced Feb. 18.

Janet Parsons said very little after court on Thursday, but she did say the children are doing well and she’ll try to give them a “normal” Christmas.

The case was investigated by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, FBI, IRS Criminal Investigations and the Social Security Administration.

A $50,000 reward is still in place for information about the disappearance of Erica Lynn Parsons.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, 1st. Lt. Chad Moose at 704-216-8687 or Investigator Sara Benfield at 704-216-8739.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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