A Kannapolis church will host a vigil for Erica Parsons, the missing Rowan teen who turns 16 on Monday.
“Erica Lynn’s Sweet 16 Birthday” will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at Breakthrough Faith Church, 1901 N. Cannon Blvd. in Kannapolis.
Instead of gifts, organizers asked attendees to bring food, personal hygiene products or blankets for someone in need.
Erica was adopted as a baby by Casey and Sandy Parsons, but she was reported missing in July by her older adoptive brother after he’d had a fight with his parents.
No one outside her family has seen her since November 2011.
Erica’s disappearance and the search for her has sparked curiosity around the world. Investigators have said in search warrants that they suspect foul play, and court documents unveiled in December indicate they believe the teen might be dead.
Investigators say Erica’s adoptive parents have been questioned several times but stopped being cooperative months ago.
The Parsonses have argued throughout that they are innocent of any wrongdoing, and say Erica went to live with a woman they believed was her biological grandmother – Irene “Nan” Goodman. On Aug. 20 and 21, the Parsonses appeared on the “Dr. Phil” show to assert that they had done nothing wrong.
But authorities say they’ve found no evidence that Nan ever existed. No one has been charged in connection with Erica’s disappearance.
Federal and state authorities have offered a total of $35,000 in reward money to anyone who provides information about the girl’s location.
At a news conference last month, they conceded that determining what happened to the girl is a difficult task because nearly two years passed between when the Parsonses claim they dropped Erica off near a McDonald’s in Mooresville and when police began looking into her disappearance. Cleve R. Wootson Jr.