• Frequently asked questions in the Erica Parsons case


    Eyewitness News has compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions by viewers following the Erica Parsons case. Below are the answers compiled from our previous coverage, interviews with family members and the Parsons appearance on the "Dr. Phil" show.

    Where are Erica’s biological parents and why aren’t they raising her?

    Erica’s biological mother is Carolyn Parsons, who was married to Sandy Parsons’ brother. Family members have said Erica was the product of a relationship between Carolyn and another man, believed to be Billy Dean Goodman. Carolyn was unable to care for Erica and her father was not in the picture, so Casey and Sandy Parsons took custody of Erica as an infant.

    Carolyn Parsons and Steve Parsons Jr. had three children together, who are all being raised by relatives.

    Why haven’t the police talked to the biological grandmother who the Parsons say Erica went to live with?

    The Parsons say Erica went to live with Irene “Nan” Goodman, who they say is her paternal grandmother. Family members said her paternal grandmother, named Chloe and never called "Nan," died about five years ago, and Carolyn Parons said on Facebook that Erica had no biological relatives in the Asheville area. Investigators said they have not been able to confirm the existence of an Irene Goodman.

    Why can’t the police track down the person who the Parsons say Erica is with from communications in 2011?

    Casey Parsons has said she was contacted by Irene Goodman on Facebook, but she said that account is no longer activated. She also said a mobile phone number for Goodman has been disconnected. She said on the “Dr. Phil” show that the Parsons never went to Goodman’s home but saw photos, which she no longer has.

    Why were the Parsons receiving money from the state for Erica?

    Because Erica was adopted through a public adoption and she has mental disabilities, the Parsons were eligible to receive $634 a month from the Department of Social Services for Erica’s care, according to DSS. DSS could not say whether the Parsons were receiving that amount.

    Why were the Parsons able to continue receiving money from the state after Erica stopped living with them?

    The Parsons attorney said the law says they can continue to receive the money as long as they are the legal guardians of the child. Search warrants show authorities are looking for evidence to determine whether the Parsons should be charged with obtaining property by false pretenses.

    Why haven’t the Parsons been arrested under Caylee’s Law, which makes it a crime for a parent or legal guardian to not report a child missing?

    The Parsons’ attorney maintains that the Parsons did not consider Erica missing because they had left her with a relative.

    Do the Parsons have other children and are they adopted?

    Casey and Sandy Parsons have five biological children, 3 of whom are now adults. One of those children, James Parsons is the person who reported Erica missing.

    Their two youngest children were taken from the home and placed in the care of Casey Parson’s mother the day after Erica was reported missing.

    Why did Erica’s adoptive brother report her missing nearly two years after she disappeared?

    James Parsons has said he reported Erica missing when he moved out of his parents’ home because he no longer believed their story that Erica had gone to live with her grandmother.

    If family members were concerned for Erica, why did they not alert authorities?

    Family members have said that they called DSS several times regarding activity at the Parsons home. In paperwork from March 2002, DSS officials said they did not see signs of abuse regarding 4-year-old Erica and that she was not afraid of her parents.

    Why didn’t anyone from school report Erica was missing?

    Casey Parsons homeschooled the children. Officials at the North Carolina Department of Non-Public Education said Parsons last submitted attendance records and standardized test results in September 2012, but could not confirm if Erica's documents were included in the submission.

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