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Warrant: Adoptive father said he "discarded" girl's body; led cops to remains

SALISBURY, N.C. -- Search warrants released in South Carolina say the adoptive father of a teenager who disappeared in 2011 told investigators that he buried her shortly before Christmas that year and then agreed to lead them to the spot.

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Sandy (left) and Casey Parsons   CBS affiliate WBTV

Local media outlets report new information in the case of Erica Parsons was revealed in a search warrant released in Chesterfield County, South Carolina, on Wednesday.

The warrant said Sandy Parsons was in prison in August when he told a Rowan County, North Carolina, sheriff’s detective that Erica was long dead and her body could be found in rural South Carolina.

Sandy Parsons said that the body was “discarded” on Dec. 19, 2011, and that it could be found in Pageland, S.C., near his mother’s home, reports CBS affiliate WBTV. The child would have been 13 at the time. The girl wasn’t reported missing until two years later.

A judge approved an escort team to transport Parsons from the prison to help investigators locate the body, and they uncovered the girl’s remains in a shallow grave in September, the warrant said.

Sandy Parsons and his wife Casey are both serving sentences in separate federal prisons after being convicted of fraud for taking federal adoption assistance money meant for the girl long after she was last seen, the station reports.

Testimony at the trial of Casey and Sandy Parsons unveiled a pattern of abusing Erica, who lived with the family from 2000 until she disappeared in 2011.

According to the warrant, obtained by the station, Sandy Parsons admitted his “harsh treatment” of the girl, including beating her with a belt, bending her fingers backward, locking her in a closet and choking her. According to the warrant, UNC School of Medicine Dr. Cynthia Brown called the abuse “child torture.”

Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten told the Charlotte Observer no plea deal was struck and no promises were made to Parsons in exchange for leading investigators to the remains. No cause of death for the girl has been released.

No one has been charged in connection with her death.

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