• Adoptive brother says DSS could have done more to save Erica Parsons' life

    By: Tina Terry


    ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. - The adoptive brother of murdered Rowan County teenager Erica Parsons is disputing a report by the Department of Social Services.

    Jamie Parsons told Channel 9 he thinks the state missed opportunities to save Erica’s life.

    The report said DSS investigated two complaints that adoptive parents Casey and Sandy Parsons abused Erica.

    Channel 9 coverage on the Erica Parsons case:

    The report showed that in 2002 Casey Parsons beat Erica so badly it left marks on her body. It also said Erica was underweight and her mother didn't love her.

    The report alleged verbal abuse and said that Erica was very tiny and frail.

    Jamie Parsons, who was 9 years old when he reported Erica missing in July 2013, told Channel 9 he recalls one of the social workers searching Erica for bruises.

    “He lifted up Erica's back he saw the marks,” Jamie Parsons said. “I sat there and watched it through the window. Why didn't they take Erica then?”

    Investigators discovered Erica had not been seen since 2011.

    Authorities confirmed to Channel 9 that the skeletal remains of Erica were discovered in January in Chesterfield County.

    Family and unidentified law enforcement sources told Channel 9 that Sandy Parsons led investigators to the remains.

    Sources said Erica's remains were buried in a shallow grave.

    The DSS report said social workers created a safety plan, and the Parsons agreed to use alternative forms of discipline and to not leave any marks or bruises from spanking.

    They closed the case with a detective calling the abuse claims unfounded.

    “I feel betrayed by DSS because I was a child myself, no one helped,” Jamie Parsons said. “No one stepped in and that was their job so they failed their job.”

    The director of the Rowan County DSS told Channel 9, “Workers provide information on appropriate discipline in every case where there are allegations of inappropriate discipline.”

    The director said, in this case, social workers found no marks on Erica's body and all children in the home denied inappropriate discipline.

    Jamie Parsons disagrees and said there were many more complaints than outlined by the DSS.

    "I think they could have done way more,” Jamie Parsons said.

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