Casey Parsons was returned to Rowan County under armed guard on Tuesday to face first-degree murder and other charges in the gruesome death of her adoptive daughter, Erica Parsons.
Erica was last seen alive about seven years ago. Authorities don’t know for sure when Erica died, but they believe she was 12 or 13 at the time. Her remains were found in rural Chesterfield County in Upstate South Carolina in September 2016.
Erica, whose short, tortured life captured national headlines, could have died of “blunt force” injury suffered over years, or she could have been suffocated or strangled, according to the results of her autopsy released in January. Her autopsy by the N.C. Medical Examiner’s Office said she died of “homicidal violence of undetermined means.”
Casey Parsons and her husband, Sandy, were charged in February with first-degree murder, concealment of death, child abuse with physical injury and obstruction of justice for lying to North Carolina investigators.
The couple were convicted in 2015 of financial crimes that included cashing adoption assistance checks totaling more than $12,000 after Erica’s disappearance.
Sandy Parsons is serving eight years in a federal prison in Michigan and Casey Parsons 10 years in a federal prison in Florida.
On Tuesday morning, Rowan County sheriff’s detectives and a North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation agent flew to the federal prison in Tallahassee to take custody of Casey Parsons. They returned at about 4 p.m., and Casey Parsons was taken directly to the Rowan County jail and charged with the murder and other offenses.
Casey Parsons is being held in the jail with no bail. Her first court appearance on the charges is scheduled for Wednesday, although an exact time has yet to be set. Superior Court Judge Lori Hamilton has banned cameras in the courtroom during Parsons’ first appearance, according to the sheriff’s office.