Authorities Believe Erica Parsons Was Long Dead Before Being Reported Missing, Suffered Years Of Abuse From Adoptive Family

The North Carolina girl who was adopted by her relatives is believed to have been killed long before she was reported missing. It was confirmed by authorities that the adoptive parents of the young girl helped investigators to find her remains.

Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten said in a statement that a dialogue with the adoptive parents of Erica, Sandy and Casey Parsons, led the detectives to where they could find the 13-year-old's remains. Officials said that they believe Erica had died even before she was reported missing in 2013. Although nobody has been charged in the death of Erica, the adoptive parents were sentenced last year for inflicting years of abuse on the teenager. She reportedly ate dog food or no dog food at all and was excluded from joining family activities, CBS News revealed.

Sandy and Casey are spending time behind bars on charges related to tax fraud. Casey is serving a 10-year sentence while Sandy is saving an eight-year sentence, Time Warner Cable News reports.

The cause of the girl's death remains unknown and authorities are still waiting until after a medical examiner completes an autopsy in order to bring charges linked to the case. Potential suspects have not been dealt with by authorities as well. Auten said, "There have been no pleas, no agreements, no promises to anybody who may become a suspect in this case."

Erica has been living with Casey and Sandy since the year 2000 until she disappeared in 2011. One of the children of Casey and Sandy reported Erica missing two years after she was last seen in Rowan County. Accordingly, her adoptive parents told her adoptive brother that she went to South Carolina to be with her biological grandmother. However, the name given by Casey and Sandy was said to be not a real person.

The child of Casey and Sandy, 21-year-old James, said last year that he and his other siblings had abused Erica. He had admittedly abused the girl by breaking her arm when she was only 5. When he reached 16, he decided to no longer hit or harm the girl. Casey reportedly encouraged the other children to hurt Erica. In 2013, the home of the Parsons was investigated and they found traces of blood, saliva or urine inside a closet belonging to Erica.

The investigation is ongoing.

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