SALISBURY, N.C. -- The parents of Erica Parsons appeared in court on Thursday for a custody hearing of their other children.
Casey and Sandy Parsons arrived the Rowan County courthouse just before 8:30 a.m. after being issued a juvenile summons last week.
Deputies delivered a civil juvenile summons to Casey and Sandy Parsons' house last Friday morning.
The paperwork is sealed, but according to the Parsons' attorney Carlyle Sherrill, it's in reference to two children the Rowan County Department of Social Services removed from the Parsons' home August 1, after 15-year-old Erica Parsons was reported missing.
One child removed from the home is a 7-year-old boy, and the other is an 8-year-old girl. Both are now being cared for by their grandmother.
According to Sherrill, there will be a hearing to determine if those two children were abused or neglected.
Search warrants released Thursday citing interviews with other family members allege ongoing abuse inside the family home.
The Parsons deny those allegations and deny any wrongdoing in Erica's disappearance. Nobody has been arrested or charged with a crime. The Parsons says Erica left for an extended visit her grandmother in 2011, then called to say she wasn't coming back. The Parsons say they were okay with that because they trusted the grandmother and felt Erica was happier living elsewhere.
"At least having a juvenile court petition filed will give them the opportunity to have their day in court and hopefully to get their kids back," Sherrill said.
Sherrill says a judge will rule if the kids were abused, neglected or not. He then expects a hearing where the Parsons could get their kids back, possibly under a court-ordered plan of action.
Sherrill says DSS came to the Parsons; after Erica's older brother reported her missing, but 48 hours before removing the younger kids, and gave the Parsons the equivalent of a stamp of approval.
"Basically put that there was no danger, they were not in a dangerous situation," Sherrill said.