Police: Man confesses to murder of missing Sunrise woman Erika Verdecia
Authorities in Broward County have made an arrest in the case of a missing woman from Sunrise.
According to Sunrise police, 54-year-old Eric Pierson confessed, in great detail, to killing 33-year-old Erika Verdecia.
According to an arrest report obtained by Local 10 News, officers began searching for Verdecia after her mother reported her missing on Sept. 28, four days after she had last seen her daughter.
Verdecia’s mother told police that after speaking to Verdecia’s friends, she learned that her daughter was with Pierson on the morning of Sept. 25 and that the two were stopped by police, the report stated.
Sunrise couple worried after not hearing from adult daughter for nearly 2 weeks
Police ended up speaking to Pierson multiple times after finding inconsistencies with what he told investigators about his time with Verdecia.
Investigators also discovered that Pierson had been previously convicted of Second-Degree Murder in 1995 and served 15 years of a 40-year sentence. He was also convicted of Attempted First-Degree Murder in 1985 and served four years of an 18-year sentence.
When officers searched Pierson’s vehicle, they found blood in the back seat, the report said.
That same day, Pierson’s girlfriend called detectives to tell them about troubling statements Pierson had made and about rocks and debris piling up in a canal behind her home, according to the report.
A dive team pulled a body later identified as Verdecia’s from the canal.
33-year-old Erika Verdecia was last seen by her parents on Sept. 24.
According to the arrest report, when police questioned Pierson again, he admitted to killing Verdecia by stabbing her twice in the neck and once in each eye with a screwdriver, but he said it was in self-defense. He also admitted to dumping her body in the canal and attempting to weigh it down with rocks, per the report.
Investigators determined that based on the way she was killed, and the size difference between the two (Pierson is 6-foot-8 and weighs 240 lbs. while Verdecia was 5-foot-7 and weighed 160 lbs.), Pierson intended to end her life.
He was arrested on Saturday on a charge of First Degree Murder and booked into the Broward County Main Jail.