Broward man charged with first-degree murder of a missing 33-year-old mother

·2 min read

A Broward man has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the disappearance of a 33-year-old mother.

Eric Pierson, 54, was charged Sunday after confessing to the murder of Sunrise resident Erika Verdecia. Verdecia had been last seen the afternoon of Sept. 24. Police said the disappearance of Verdecia, the mother of a six-year-old daughter, was “completely out of character.”

According to a sworn police affidavit, police stopped Pierson, in whose truck Verdecia had been riding as a passenger, the morning of Sept. 25. It was not clear why the stop occurred nor the outcome of the stop.

On Oct. 4, the affidavit said, Sunrise detectives met with Pierson at his apartment regarding the disappearance. Pierson stated Verdecia had joined him after leaving her parents’ home. He initially stated that after the traffic stop, they had pulled over to get gas, and that Verdecia had disappeared after telling him to meet him at a nearby Wendy’s.

A review of surveillance footage showed Pierson had in fact stopped at the gas station before the traffic stop, and that he had never stopped at the Wendy’s. Pierson also falsely claimed he did not have Verdecia’s phone number, when in fact phone records showed they spoke on a regular basis up until Verdecia’s disappearance, police said.

After further investigation, detectives met with Pierson for a consensual interview at the Sunrise Police Department on Oct. 15. A search of his Ford F-250 revealed traces of blood, and it was impounded, though Pierson was allowed to leave. That evening, Pierson’s girlfriend contacted Sunrise detectives, informing them that Pierson had been making incriminating statements including, “If they don’t find a body, they don’t have a case.” She also said rocks and debris had begun piling up in the canal to the rear of her mobile home.

A subsequent investigation that night revealed human remains there, which were eventually identified as Verdecia’s.

On Oct. 16, Pierson agreed to be driven back to the police department in an unmarked vehicle, where he eventually revealed the circumstances surrounding Verdecia’s death. He said the two had gotten into a violent altercation, and admitted to stabbing her with a screwdriver, then driving her body to his girlfriend’s house and rolling it into the canal.

State records show Pierson had served a sentence for attempted 1st-degree murder, and had been on supervised release since September 2020 related to a 2nd-degree murder charge dating back to 1995. He has been incarcerated a total of four times, records show.

It was not immediately clear whether Pierson had obtained an attorney.

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