It never struck Casey and Sandy Parsons strange that their adopted daughter, 13-year-old Erica Parsons, failed to even pack a suitcase before her “disappearance” back in 2013.
During an appearance alongside Phil McGraw on the Dr. Phil Show, the talk show host appeared incredulous at the couple’s story surrounding the disappearance of the young girl.
Casey maintained that the last time she saw her daughter was when she dropped her off to spend Christmas with her grandmother, despite the fact Erica didn’t have any of her clothes or belongings with her.
“Does that not strike you odd?” McGraw asked during Casey’s chilling appearance on the show.
Sandy’s decision to take a lie detector test on another episode of Dr. Phil – supposedly to clear his name – didn’t help matters much either.
Parsons ended up scoring a -9 on the test. He need only have scored a -4 to have failed, with the results indicating the individual was “strongly deceptive.”
And deceptive they were. During a string of appeals on the show the couple talked brazenly about their hopes of finding Erica.
But the truth did eventually come out. Already serving time in prison for tax fraud, it was Sandy who eventually led investigators to where Erica was buried, in a shallow grave near the family home.
It was then that the reality became clear: Erica was repeatedly tortured and abused throughout her time with the couple, subjected to the kind of pain too grim to detail.
Eventually murdered at some point around 2011, the pair only informed the authorities of her disappearance two years later, collecting benefits all the while.
It was then that they decided to appear on Dr. Phil, during a series of appearances that started out as appeals for help in finding her – a galling notion when you consider they were her killers.
Those appearances may have ultimately contributed to their downfall though with McGraw increasingly sceptical of their story during several interview with the pair.
Now charged with first-degree murder, child abuse, concealment of death and obstruction of justice, the couple are facing up to a life behind bars thanks, in part, to their 15 minutes of fame.
That’s more than Erica, who lived with the couple from 2000 until her death, will ever get though.