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Convicted killer released last year confesses to murder of missing Sunrise woman, police say

Susannah Bryan, South Florida Sun-Sentinel on

Published in News & Features

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A convicted killer released from prison last year has killed again, Sunrise police say.

The body of Erika Verdecia, a 33-year-old single mom missing since Sept. 24, was found in a Davie canal Saturday morning, detectives said.

Eric Pierson, 54, confessed Saturday to killing Verdecia on Sept. 25, according to an arrest affidavit. Pierson told police he stabbed Verdecia with a screwdriver four times — twice in the neck and once in each eye.

Pierson is now in jail facing charges of first-degree murder.

It’s not the first time.

In 1995, Pierson pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Kristina Whitaker. Her battered body was found buried under debris at a construction site in Davie.


He was sentenced to 40 years in prison but served 25. He was released on Sept. 3, 2020.

In 1985, he pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder after breaking into a Davie woman’s house and cutting her throat and hands with a kitchen knife. Miraculously, the woman survived. Pierson was sentenced to 18 years but served four.

The family of Erika Verdecia has vowed to see justice served.

“Why is this guy in the streets? Why?,” said her mother, Carmen Verdecia. “He’s going to pay this time. We’re not going to stop until we see him in the electric chair.”


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