Attorney: Missing Rowan Co. girl refused to come home

Credit: Rowan County Sheriff's Office

Erica Lynn Parsons


by TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

Posted on August 6, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 20 at 5:00 PM

SALISBURY, N.C. -- The attorney for the adoptive parents of a missing 15-year-old girl from Rowan County says the teen left home two years ago and told them she wasn't coming back.

Investigators issued a possible missing/endangered person alert for Erica Lynn Parsons on Monday. She had not been seen by her older brother since November 2011, according to police. That brother reported her missing July 30. Investigators aren't giving an explanation for the nearly two year gap in time between the last time she was seen and the missing person report.

"Let's just say we couldn't find her if we had to," said attorney Carlyle Sherrill, who represents Parsons' adoptive parents.

Sherrill also says the circumstances of Parsons leaving her house on Miller Chapel Road in Salisbury are no mystery.

According to Sherrill, Parsons visited family and friends of her biological mother on several occasions.

The adoptive parents got a call in December 2011 from Parsons saying she was not returning home.

"They believed she was being a rebellious teenager who didn't want to come home with them."

Sherrill says there were not problems at home.

It does not appear the family did an all out search for Parsons because she told her adoptive parents she didn't want to live with them, she was happy where she was and the parents were battling illnesses and raising other kids, Sherrill said.

"My clients cooperated entirely with the sheriff's office for two days, underwent extensive questioning by them, but the sheriff's office was asking questions they didn't know the answer to."

Sherrill says the family hired him when the questioning turned accusatory.

He says the family is concerned about Erica's whereabouts too.

"If I could just know where she is at, I'll be alright," said grandfather Steve Parsons.

The sheriff's office isn't saying what they uncovered or what tips they might have received from the flyers.

Buncombe County officials, in the Asheville area, say they were not asked to help look for her.

Nobody has been arrested or charged.