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by Kim Hynes & Cliff Judy (EL DORADO, Kan.)
No one has seen Adam Herrman since 1999. Butler County authorities say they don't know if Adam is dead or alive. They are looking for information to figure
out what happened to him.
A few weeks ago, someone called the Exploited and Missing Children's Unit to report Adam missing. They said no one has heard from the boy since he was
11-years-old, today he would be 21.
Adam was adopted by Doug and Valerie Herrman when he was two and a half. The Herrmans told Eyewitness News last week that Adam ran away and they never
On New Year's Eve, Butler County authorities searched a Towanda mobile home park property where the Herrmans used to live. The sheriff says the search
produced an answer to one question regarding Adam but he wouldn't say what that answer was. He did say that it provided no evidence that Adam was dead.
Sheriff Craig Murphy says they are treating the case as a death investigation. But he says there's no evidence to prove he's dead and Adam may be
out there somewhere. Murphy says by investigating it as a death, they cover a lot more information. Murphy says they've done computer data searches on Adam
and nothing comes up on him after 1999.
Herrman's name did appear even after his disappearance, though. Adam's adoptive parents listed him as a dependent in November 2002 as the couple
filed for bankruptcy.
Murphy did say that the Herrmans still claimed Adam on their taxes after 1999. He says the Herrmans could face charges for claiming Adam and for not
reporting him missing. He says they haven't been arrested because the focus has been on finding Adam. Murphy says if the couple was arrested they would
have to get ready for court and they're not ready to do that right now.
He says they've talked with the Herrmans but wouldn't comment on their conversation. Murphy called them persons of interest in this case.
On Monday evening, Butler County Prosecutor Jan Satterfield told Eyewitness News there's obviously much to figure out in Herrmann's disappearance.
Still, she agreed with Sheriff Murphy it's possible Adam's adoptive parents could face criminal charges for not reporting him missing. Satterfield
said there's no law with specific language to charge someone with not reporting a missing child, but the action could fall under non-support of a child or
child endangerment charges.
Murphy says they want to talk to anyone who may have known Adam or who lived in the Pine Ridge Mobile Home Park in Towanda. The Sheriff released a picture
of Adam when he was nine or ten years old. The National Exploited and Missing Children's Unit is working on an age progression photo of what Adam could
look like now.
If you have information, call (316) 322-4254 or (316) 322-4398 ext 8 and ask to speak to an investigator regarding the Adam Herrman case.
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