Crime

Prosecutors will seek death penalty for both of Erica Parsons' adoptive parents

Erica Parsons’ birth mother, Carolyn Parsons, holds a photo of her daughter. Erica’s adoptive parents, Sandy and Casey Parsons, are facing first-degree murder and other charges in Erica’s death.
Erica Parsons’ birth mother, Carolyn Parsons, holds a photo of her daughter. Erica’s adoptive parents, Sandy and Casey Parsons, are facing first-degree murder and other charges in Erica’s death. Observer File Photo

Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against both of Erica Parsons' adoptive parents nearly two years after the girl's body was found with signs of abuse in a rural corner of upstate South Carolina.

The Rowan County District Attorney's Office announced Thursday that Erica's adoptive mother, Casey Parsons, will face a capital case, reported Observer news partner WBTV. The same announcement was made last week for Erica's adoptive father, Sandy Parsons.

Both adoptive parents have been serving federal prison sentences on fraud charges, including cashing adoption assistance checks after Erica disappeared.

They were indicted for murder and felony concealment of death in February.

Erica was reported missing in summer 2013, but no one had seen her since before Christmas 2011. It's not clear exactly when she died, but she was likely 12 or 13 at the time.

Her body was found in Chesterfield County, S.C., in September 2016. An autopsy found that she suffered terribly before she was killed, and her adoptive parents' indictment said they cut her corpse into pieces.

Investigators found that Erica was beaten, starved as a form of punishment and forced to live a life of servitude after she was adopted as an infant. The Parsons' oldest biological son testified that Erica was often locked in closets and abused by other children in the family.

Jane Wester: 704-358-5128, @janewester
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