ROWAN COUNTY, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - The medical examiner has ruled Erica Parson's cause of death as homicide violence of undetermined means. Her autopsy report reveals disturbing details about how the missing teen lived and died.
Parson, 13, was reported missing from Rowan County in July 2013 by her adopted brother, but reportedly had not been seen since November 2011.
Her adoptive parents, Casey and Sandy Parsons, told investigators that Erica had gone to visit her grandmother, Nan, but authorities were unable to locate the pair.
It wasn't until September 2016 that Erica's adoptive father, Sandy Parsons, led authorities to her remains in a wooded area in Chesterfield County. Sandy Parsons later admitted to authorities that his adoptive daughter's remains were discarded in December 2011.
**WARNING: Information from the autopsy report is disturbing and may not be appropriate for all readers**
Several family members reported that Erica was subjected to longstanding physical and emotional abuse by her adoptive parents, Casey and Sandy Parsons, according to medical examiner's report. These reports include accounts of beatings with a belt buckle that broke the skin, episodes of being choked and thrown to the ground, her hand being slammed in a door, repeated episodes of her fingers being bent all the way back, one episode in which a tooth was knocked out, being forced to sleep in a closet, being forced to eat dog food, and being deprived of food.
In the week prior to her 2011 disappearance, siblings described her as looking gray with sunken eyes, smelling bad with open, oozing cuts, very weak and complaining of not being able to breath, according to the autopsy report.
The autopsy report revealed that Erica suffered multiple blunt force injuries over a prolonged period, and a growth deficit and low bone density are consistent with malnourishment.
The description of her appearance given by her siblings suggests she may have been the suffering from untreated infection/sepsis, rhabdomyolysis, renal failure, or poisoning at that time, all of which could have caused her death, the report states.
"Given the history of physical abuse, and signs of physical abuse present at autopsy, we cannot exclude the possibility of a terminal blunt force injury, suffocation or strangulation," the autopsy report reads.
Sandy Parsons and his wife Casey are currently serving sentences in separate federal prisons after being convicted of fraud for taking federal adoption assistance money meant for Erica long after the teen was gone from their home. The couple has not been charged in her death.