by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:
ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. - Family members of a missing Rowan County teenager said they are losing hope after the lead detective on the case resigned from the Sheriff's Office.
In a Facebook post dated June 20, Detective Clint Mauldin said he was leaving his position at the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office after nine years to take a job in the banking industry.
Mauldin was the lead detective in the disappearance of Erica Parsons who was reported missing by her adoptive brother in July 2013.
Erica Parson’s adoptive aunts told Channel 9 in the past few days they had called for updates on the case and been transferred to Mauldin's voicemail but were never notified he had accepted a new job.
"No one called and told us. I saw it on Facebook yesterday. I've tried to reach out to him several times and left several messages but have never heard back from him," said Tammy Gray.
Another aunt, Robin Ashley, said she is worried the trail will grow cold and that an arrest will never be made.
"I feel betrayed. Let us know what you're doing. Tell us," Ashley said.
In a statement, the Rowan County Sheriff's Office said, "Detective Mauldin did accept a job in the banking industry as of last week, but he does remain with the Rowan County Sheriff's Office as an active reserve officer and is available to us as this investigation continues. First Lt. Chad Moose and investigator Sara Benfield have worked hand in hand with investigator Mauldin from the first day that the investigation into Erica's disappearance began. Their first-hand knowledge of this case will allow the investigation to proceed in a seamless manner.
"As you are aware, agents of the (N.C. State Bureau of Investigation) and agents of the FBI are also very much involved in the investigation of Erica's disappearance. Work by all of the law enforcement partners continues on this case at many different levels. With your experience of law enforcement investigations, I am sure you know that the investigation of a case of this magnitude never rests on the shoulders of one person."