Erica Parsons’ adoptive mother says that Erica is alive, and the mystery of her disappearance could be cleared up with a phone call.
“Erica is not missing. Erica is with her grandmother,” a woman known as Nan, Casey Parsons said on the “Dr. Phil” show today. “This would all be over if Nan or Erica would just pick the phone up and call.”
Casey Parsons and her husband, Sandy, said they dropped Erica off with Nan in December 2011 and haven’t seen her since. No one reported Erica missing until her adoptive brother James filed a missing person’s report last month.
Casey and Sandy Parsons said they believe Erica is still with Nan, whom they identified as Irene Goodman, who lived near Asheville.
According to search warrants in the case, the Parsonses weren’t able to provide contact information for Goodman. An Observer search of public records found no Irene Goodman within 50 miles of Asheville.
Erica’s biological mother says on her Facebook page that Erica “has no family in Asheville.”
Erica has become the subject of a widening hunt by Rowan County, the state and the FBI. While no charges have been filed, authorities say they suspect foul play.
Investigators have said Casey and Sandy Parsons aren’t cooperating.
In Charlotte, the two-part Dr. Phil special will air 4 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday on WSOC.
In part two, the Parsonses agree to take a polygraph test, according to a news release from the show.
On the “Dr. Phil” show today Casey and Sandy Parsons denied any wrongdoing: “I never harmed Erica. I never abused Erica. I never beat Erica. I did not kill Erica,” Casey said.
Sandy Parsons denied allegations from Erica’s stepbrother that he chopped Erica up and buried her in his backyard.
“Everything I’ve been accused of is a lie,” he said.
Casey Parsons said she became acquainted with Nan after Nan made overtures via social media, saying she was Erica’s biological grandmother. She knew Erica’s biological father’s name and all about her birth mother and other family details.
They arranged a meeting at a McDonald’s in Mooresville, and Erica spent a weekend with Nan in September 2011, Casey said. Erica spent another weekend with Nan in November, and came home saying that Nan had treated her well, Casey said.
Finally, they took her to meet Nan in December.
Erica was supposed to stay with Nan for three weeks, but Nan asked to keep her longer. After two months with Nan, Erica said she wanted to stay with her, Casey Parsons said. That was the last they saw of her.
Casey Parsons said she had phone contact with Erica and Nan until February 2012, when they were “uninvited” to Erica’s 14th birthday party.
“She said she didn’t want that b---- at her party,” referring to Casey, Casey told Dr. Phil, “That was the last time we heard her speak.” Casey Parsons said she tried later phone calls, but the number no longer worked. The Parsonses said they didn’t have Nan’s address and no longer have photos that Nan took of her house and gave to them.
Dr. Phil, whose name is Phillip McGraw, pressed the Parsonses on what they knew about Nan.
“You never went to her house, you never verified her name,” he said. Could she have been an impostor?
“I really believe there is an Irene Goodman, and she is Erica’s grandmother,” Casey Parsons said.
No school reported Erica missing. The Parsonses said they home schooled Erica and that Nan continued that policy, having her tutored by a neighbor.
Sandy Parsons said he never met Nan and relied on his wife’s statements that she was a good woman.
“I just knew what my wife told me,” he said. “If it was OK with my wife it was OK with me.”
But, McGraw said to Sandy Parsons: “No contact for a year and a half? How is that OK with you?”
“I just thought she was being a rebellious teenager,” Parsons replied.
In the second episode, Dr. Phil looks into the Parsonses’ agreement in 2002 with a Michigan couple for Casey to carry their unborn son.
According to a news release from the show, the Michigan mother claims six weeks after Casey began carrying the baby, she informed the couple she had a miscarriage. The couple say they discovered this wasn’t true and that Casey eventually gave birth to a full term baby.
The couple believes Casey intended to sell the baby to another couple, according to the Dr. Phil news release. Casey Parsons denies she tried to sell the couple’s baby.
See more, including video of the Parsons speaking with Dr. Phil, at CharlotteObserver.com.