SALISBURTY, N.C. -- The parents of missing teen Erica Parsons, speaking through their attorney, say their overwhelming feeling is they were duped by someone claiming to be Erica's biological grandmother named "Nan."
That attorney, Carlyle Sherrill, says Erica's biological mother Carolyn Parsons is the one who introduced Casey and Sandy Parsons to Nan, and it's why they thought she was family.
Carolyn Parsons, other relatives and investigators say there is no Nan and the story about allowing Erica to live with her doesn't add up.
Casey and Sandy Parsons say Erica, then 13 years old, went to visit Nan in late 2011, and then got a call from Erica in early 2012 saying she didn't want to come back. The family has not seen her since.
"I think it's finally dawning on her that Nan isn't who she thought Nan is," Sherrill said.
Now, there's word Casey and Carolyn Parsons were exchanging online messages about Erica.
The issue is the timing.
Some of the messages about Erica were apparently written and sent after Erica was last seen at home, but as if she was still living there.
Sherrill sees no contradiction when it comes to the timing or the content.
“‘Erica is doing fine,’ is what she was saying. I don't think she was alluding to any specific contact or anything like that. Just in general," he said.
Sherrill says some of the messages clearly show a bond between Casey and Erica.
Sherrill says talk of discrepancies has not come up during recent questioning with investigators.
"Except the obvious that Nan is not who they thought she was. I think they've finally reached that realization, and I think Casey is probably embarrassed that she labored under that misconception for so long," Sherrill said.
Nobody has been arrested or charged with Erica's disappearance.
The family denies any wrongdoing, and denies repeatedly abusing Erica as investigators claim in court documents.
Thursday, NBC Charlotte found out Sandy Parsons had prior run-ins with the law back in the 1990s.
Court records in Cabarrus County show Sandy Parsons was charged with misdemeanor assault on a female in 1994 and 1997. Both times the victim was Casey. Both times he pleaded guilty and he got unsupervised probation instead of jail. A judge ordered him not to do it again.
Sherrill says Sandy and Casey Parsons were at a rocky point in their relationship then, but it is better now.