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Concert will remember Erica Parsons, benefit Prevent Child Abuse Rowan

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Carolyn Parsons, the biological mother of Erica Lynn Parsons, was saddened following the news the teen’s remains were found in a shallow grave in rural South Carolina, but she hopes to prevent the abuse, neglect and endangerment of other children in the future.

Carolyn Parsons and classmate Joe Davis have planned a benefit concert that will raise money for Prevent Child Abuse Rowan. The concert will begin at noon, Saturday at Tilley-Harley Davidson, 653 Bendix Drive.

The money raised from the concert will benefit the nonprofit organization, whose staff will be on hand Saturday to collect any donations. Any money collected will be used to continue education programs as well as raise awareness about abused and neglected children.

One of the featured performers will be the Joe Davis Band, a heavy metal southern rock group from Kannapolis.

Carolyn was contacted by Davis, who said he wanted to honor Erica, and they came up with a benefit concert.

In late September, Rowan investigators discovered the skeletal remains of Erica Parsons in a shallow grave in rural Chesterfield County, S.C. Erica’s adoptive father, Sandy Parsons, showed investigators where to find the girl’s remains.

The discovery brought to some resolution a three-year investigation by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators were first made aware the girl was missing in July 2013, when her adoptive brother, Jamie Parsons, reported he had not seen her since 2011.

Erica’s adoptive parents, Sandy and Casey Parsons, both remain in federal prison following convictions for tax and mail fraud and identity theft. They accepted adoption assistance and other government benefits for Erica after her disappearance from their home.

Investigators have not charged the pair in Erica’s disappearance. Detectives and her birth mother always held out hope that she would one day be found alive.

“I hate this outcome. You always hope and pray for the best. At the same time, Erica can be laid to rest,” Carolyn Parsons said.

Parsons said she believes that since Erica’s story has been in the spotlight, people look at child neglect differently.

The concert, she hopes, will also be a way for others who have followed the story to grieve together.

She also hopes that with money raised, two plaques can be placed inside the schools Erica briefly attended — Shadybrook Elementary in Kannapolis and Bostian Elementary in China Grove.

Parsons said she’s been in talks with those schools’ respective school boards to determine if a plaque is possible.

“I’m very grateful for all the love and support,” Parsons said.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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