Missing or Murdered: Where is 15-Year-Old Erica? Part 2: The Polygraph
August 21, 2013
In Part 2 of this Dr. Phil exclusive, Casey and Sandy — the adoptive parents of missing 15-year-old Erica Parsons — continue to discuss their daughter’s disappearance. What happened to the teen? And, why wasn’t she reported missing until nearly two years after she was last seen? Sandy and Casey say police have accused them of murder — but they maintain their innocence and insist the teen is living with her grandmother. Dr. Phil enlists the help of polygraph expert Jack Trimarco. Will the parents take polygraph tests? Plus, hear from a woman who says she hired Casey as a surrogate 11 years ago.
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Where is Erica?
On July 30, 2013, 15-year-old Erica Parsons was reported missing by her older brother, who told police that he last saw her in November 2011. Erica’s adoptive parents, Sandy and Casey, say the teen was rebellious and went to live with her biological paternal grandmother, “Nan,” and they figured she would return when she was ready. Police say there is no Nan and that Erica’s biological grandmother died five years ago. Casey and Sandy say the police are now accusing them of murdering Erica — an accusation they deny.
When asked if there's anything in her past that would cause police to suspect her of any wrongdoing, Casey responds, "I have never had any legal trouble whatsoever, never — a speeding ticket."
The couple says even their own family members are suspicious that they’re involved in Erica’s disappearance. “Every one of them is against us,” Casey says.
“Everybody’s pointing the finger; it’s the easy way out,” Sandy says. He adds that his family “shunned” him when he married Casey, and they’ve since been on bad terms.
“My fear is something happened and nobody is telling us,” Sandy’s father, Steve Parsons, told the media. “I’m not talking about the law; I’m talking about my boy and his wife.”
Sandy and Casey say their family is spewing lies about them. Casey adds that their son, who reported Erica missing, lives with the family members who are speaking out against them — and she claims he doesn’t like them because they’ve had to put him in jail before.
“What do you say to this Nan if she’s watching the show now?” Dr. Phil asks Casey.
“Please call,” Casey responds. “Please, don’t be scared — call. Erica might still be begging, but we can work something out, whether she can get legal custody of her, something.”
Dr. Phil asks the couple if they’re both willing to sign over legal custody of Erica to Nan, and they say yes. “If that’s what Erica wants,” Sandy responds.
Surrogacy ControversyCasey says she acted as a surrogate for another couple in 2002 and that the child’s mother asked her to abort the baby because she wanted a boy and thought Casey was carrying a girl. Casey says her sister stirred controversy by telling the child’s mother that she planned to sell the baby after she gave birth — a claim Casey denies. Casey says she refused to abort the baby and would have kept the child if he was, in fact, a girl.
The Investigation … The PolygraphOn August 15, 2013, federal and state authorities searched Sandy and Casey’s home and seized several items. According to court documents, the items included pieces of wall and flooring — some of which were said to have red stains — knives and a collection of magazines about JonBenét Ramsey. During the search, Casey was interviewed by the FBI and then hospitalized after undergoing emergency surgery for a previous medical condition. Sandy was also interviewed for several hours.
Carlyle Sherrill, Sandy and Casey’s attorney, says that authorities did a "thorough search" of the house but never discussed with him what they found. He admits that there has been a “divergence” between the apparent facts and what his clients have said. "The person they think is Nan evidently does not exist, according to law enforcement," he says. "It makes it look very suspicious." But he adds that this divergence does not indicate any criminal involvement by his clients.
Dr. Phil introduces polygraph expert Jack Trimarco and offers the couple an opportunity to take a polygraph test. Both Sandy and Casey accept without hesitation.