Remains of missing North Carolina girl found 5 years after she vanished
The remains of a North Carolina girl, believed to have disappeared in 2011, have been discovered in a shallow grave, authorities revealed Thursday.
The Rowan County Sheriff's Office said skeletal remains found Tuesday have been identified as Erica Parsons, who was first reported missing by her adopted brother in 2013.
Erica lived with her adoptive parents Casey and Sandy Parsons from 2000 until she disappeared in 2011 at age 13.
According to WSOC, the girl's bones were across the North Carolina border in Chesterfield County, South Carolina on property owned by Sandy Parsons.
Four years after their son, Jamie Parsons, reported his adopted sister missing, the Parsons maintained Erica had gone to live with a woman they believed to be her grandmother in the city of Asheville.
But authorities have never found a grandmother.
In March 2015, Casey Parsons was sentenced to 10 years in prison for tax fraud and her husband, Sandy, to eight years.
The Parsons were convicted of accepting government benefits for the girl for years after her disappearance.
Erica's aunt,Teresa Goodman, reportedly told WSOC that officials struck a deal with Sandy Parsons from prison as part of the investigation.
Casey Parsons was sentenced to 10 years in prison for tax fraud and Sandy Parsons was sentenced to eight years for continuing to take the benefits, which reportedly included monthly adoption assistance checks for $634.
The Rowan County Sheriff's Office said the investigation into the cause and manner of death is ongoing.