Andrea Parsons' schoolmate speaks out about how community changed

PORT SALERNO, Fla. - Now that the Martin County Sheriff's Office has made an arrest in the 19-year-old cold case of 10-year-old Andrea Parsons, some who knew her are speaking out about how their lives were changed after Andrea Parsons went missing.

Parsons was last seen in Port Salerno at the intersection of Commerce Street and Seaward Avenue on July 11, 1993.

Parsons had just bought candy and soda pop at a store, which 19 years ago was called Bucky's Port Salerno Grocery Store.

She then reportedly walked down Commerce and Seaward, then disappeared after 6:00 p.m.

Witnesses say she waved to a local couple as they were driving by, and that was the last time she was ever seen.

Brian Olsen is a former schoolmate who went with Parsons to Port Salerno Elementary School said he remembers when she went missing.

"It was tough at school when that happened," Olsen recalled. "Everybody was sad, nobody knew what was going on. You know, the search went on forever! They were going through the woods and searching."

Olsen said Port Salerno is a tight-knit community, where everyone knows each other, and that he's glad there's been an arrest made.

"After she disappeared, my parents wouldn't let me ride my bike anymore, or walk by myself," he said.

He said it's the kind of case is one you never forget.

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