The adoptive father of Erica Parsons, a North Carolina girl who was reported missing and later found dead, said the child was brutally beaten and tortured for several years leading up to her death. Sandy Parsons told investigators he physically abused her, local news outlet NBC Charlotte reported Wednesday.

Some of the abuse prior to her death included bending her fingers back, locking her in a closet, choking her and hitting her with a belt buckle. Parson confessed to “harsh treatment” of his daughter and admitted to disposing of her body on Dec. 19, 2011. 

Erica Parsons was first reported missing in 2013 when her adoptive brother James Parsons told authorities the last time he saw his sister was in 2011. In September, Sandy Parsons led police to the remains of his daughter who was buried in a shallow grave. Detectives uncovered her skull and bones near the residence of Sandy Parson’s mother in Chesterfield County, South Carolina.

During a 2013 testimony from James Parsons, he explained that just about everyone in his family abused the girl. Parsons testified that his father would punch the girl in the head with his fist while his mother would break her fingers without later seeking proper medical treatment.

Parsons told the court when he last saw his sister in 2011 she did not look well. "She looked like a zombie," he said. He explained that her face was pale and she told him she "didn’t feel good, couldn’t breathe too good." When she tried to explain her illness to her mother, Casey Parsons, she was told to shut up.

Dr. Cynthia Brown of UNC School of Medicine called Parson’s treatment of his daughter “child torture.”

Sandy Parsons, along with his wife, are currently serving time in federal prison for claiming Erica Parsons on their taxes and cashing adoption support checks after her death.