Parents of missing Erica Parsons receive civil summons

cwootson@charlotteobserver.comAugust 16, 2013 

As the investigation into their missing daughter intensifies, Sandy and Casey Parsons are being summoned to court in connection with an allegation that a juvenile in their family has been abused or neglected, according to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.

The civil summons from the Department of Social Services was served to Sandy Parsons early Friday. The summons will be served to Casey Parsons when she returns home, authorities said. She was hospitalized on Wednesday for emergency surgery.

It is unclear whether the summons involves Erica Parsons, the missing teenager, or the Parsonses’ other children or all of them.

Before she was last reported seen in 2011, family members suspected Erica Parsons was being abused, according to search warrants released Thursday.

The girl’s parents always seemed to be punishing her, according to statements by family members in the warrants. She rarely interacted with extended family and frequently had bumps and bruises, they said.

During an extensive search of the Parsonses’ house Wednesday, investigators took pieces of wall and flooring that they believe could contain blood stains and collected two knives wrapped in plastic, according to one warrant.

They also found books and magazines about JonBenet Ramsey, a child beauty queen found murdered in her Colorado home in 1996.

Erica – who was 13 when she was last seen by anyone outside the family more than two years ago – was reported missing two weeks ago. Her 20-year-old adoptive brother, James, filed a missing persons report July 30 after a dispute in which he was kicked out of the family’s home.

If the abuse and neglect allegations in the summons turn out to be true, a judge can take one of several actions – temporarily remove one or more of the children, require the parents to undergo psychiatric treatment or terminate parental rights.

The Rowan Sheriff’s Office didn’t provide additional information about the summons. A message left with a spokesman, Capt. John Sifford, was not returned.

No one has been charged in the disappearance of Erica, who was adopted as a baby.

Her adoptive parents have been questioned several times by authorities. They have told investigators and reporters that Erica went to stay with her grandmother in Asheville in 2011.

But investigators say they found nothing to back up those claims.

Court documents and the family’s attorney say the Parsonses kept collecting state financial aid for Erica’s care for two years after she left their home.

Wootson: 704-358-5046; Twitter:@CleveWootson

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