SALISBURY, N.C. -- For the second time in ten days, dozens prayed and lit candles to shine a spotlight on the case of a missing Salisbury teen – while her biological mother called for a law that would keep homeschooled children from slipping through the cracks.
Erica Parsons was reported missing by her brother July 30th, even though she last seen two years ago, when she was 13.
Erica’s adoptive parents, Casey and Sandy Parsons, say they gave Erica to a grandmother named “Nan,” or Irene Goodman. Erica’s biological father’s family has said there is no “Nan” or “Irene Goodman” in their family, and law enforcement doesn’t believe such a person exists.
Sunday, about 75 people stood against the pouring rain under the portico of the Rowan County Courthouse to pray for her return. They lit candles and sang “Amazing Grace,” and called for anyone who may have seen Erica to call authorities.
“To be a voice for Erica,” is what vigil organizer John Merry said. “Erica needs a voice, she needs someone to speak for her, because she's not able to speak right now.”
Erica’s biological mother, Carolyn Parsons, believes that because Erica was homeschooled by her adoptive parents, she was able to slip through the cracks.
There were also no school records – or teachers -- to raise a red flag when Erica disappeared.
Carolyn Parsons said Sunday she has contacted Gov. Pat McCrory’s office about making a law that requires homeschooled children to visibly check in with the state every week or two.
“I'm going to title it E-R-I-C-A 2013,” said Parsons, spelling out Erica’s name. “If you are the parent of a student or your own child who is homeschooled, you should be required to report that once a week or once every two weeks.”
Parsons also believes having to take “satellite tests” or other tangible, visible tests requiring a student’s presence would help.
“That gives a record of you having contact with a school,” she said. “There will be records.”
She said the governor’s assistant promised to contact her Tuesday for more details.
But Parsons also wants more than anything for Erica to call someone, even it’s just to let them know she’s happy wherever she is.
“That's all we want to know is that you're alive and you're okay,” she said.