ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. — Sandy Parsons is the adoptive father convicted of abusing and murdering his adoptive teenage daughter, Erica Parsons, in Rowan County.
Sandy pleaded guilty in 2019 to second-degree murder, child abuse, concealment of death and obstruction of justice. He was sentenced to 33 years minimum to 43 years maximum in prison.
Sandy and his wife, Casey, adopted Erica as an infant from a relative. They also have five biological children.
Sandy became the center of a yearslong investigation after Erica was reported missing by her adoptive brother in 2013. She was last seen in 2011.
Sandy and Casey Parsons told investigators Erica had gone to Asheville to visit her grandmother, Nan, but authorities later said that Nan did not exist.
The pair was arrested in 2014 for accepting federal benefits for Erica after she disappeared.
It wasn’t until 2016 when there was a major break in the case. Sandy was let free from federal prison for only hours to lead investigators to Erica.
Sandy led detectives to a wooded area in Chesterfield County, where he and his wife buried their adoptive daughter five years earlier.
Both Casey and Sandy were charged with Erica’s murder.
Investigators said Erica endured years of physical and emotional abuse while in the custody of her adoptive parents.
Attorneys for Sandy argued he was manipulated and controlled by Casey. They said it was Casey who committed most of the abuse against Erica.
“I turned a blind eye to things Erica was going through and I failed her as a Dad,” Sandy said.
At the time the plea deal was announced, the district attorney did not say much about the murder charge being downgraded to second-degree murder. She did say Sandy helped lead investigators to Erica’s body and without his cooperation, they may never have closed the case.
Sandy will be 82 before he is eligible for parole.
(WATCH: Erica Parsons’ adoptive father pleads guilty to second-degree murder)
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