Retired Martin Co. detective recounts Parsons case, calls recent arrest of suspect 'bittersweet'

Veteran investigator still wants body found

STUART, Fla. -- - A now retired detective who devoted nearly two decades of his career pursuing closure in the murder and kidnapping of Andrea Parsons, spoke out on Friday shortly after the suspect in the case appeared before a judge.

"She was never really out of my mind. I had a picture of her in my office. It's something that's just there," said John Silvas, who retired in late 2011 from the Martin County Sheriff's Office.

Silvas was there on scene back in 1993 when Parsons vanished. Throughout the rest of his career, he would fight for what he called "justice." He would later retire with a sense of disappointment not resolving the Parsons case.

"It becomes personal after a while. I think you grow with it and you grow in it and it's hard to not take it personal," said Silvas.

Click here to read the Grand Jury Indictment.

The retired detective said he struggled not being able to give the Parsons family closure, but he said he never wavered in his search.

Silvas said the more he dug and the more he spent time searching the landfill, the closer he felt to Parsons.

"I think I've seen her through her family. I've touched her through her mother. So I know, I have an idea of what she was and who she was," said Silvas.

When the news came down that an arrest had been made on Thursday, Silvas said it was bittersweet.

Sweet that the case was moving forward. Bitter that he and his team never recovered Andrea.

"You can never get closure with homicides. That's always there for the family. For us it's different. We talk about it, but for that family, if it was my son or daughter, I would never forget it. I would never get closure. But what you do is get justice and that's what we want to do is get justice for Andrea," said Silvas.

The retired detective said he will volunteer his help throughout the entire court process in any way investigators need him.

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