What happened to Adam?

Jan 5, 2009 / KSN.com

BUTLER COUNTY, Kansas – Where is Adam Herrman? Is he still missing or could he be dead? So many questions remain in what is now a nearly month-long investigation.

The only thing Butler County investigators seem to be sure about at this point is that Adam was 11 or 12 when he disappeared from a Towanda mobile home park back in 1999.

Even after a morning news conference by Butler County Sheriff Craig Murphy, so many questions remain unanswered. Besides Adam’s whereabouts, also unknown is why he was never reported missing until just a few weeks ago. It’s those unknowns that continue to torment his loved ones.

"Baby brother just come home,” said Tiffany Broadfoot, Adam Herrman’s biological sister. “I just want you to come home. Don't be afraid, just come home."

Broadfoot last saw her brother, Adam Herrman, about 15 years ago. And given that his whereabouts have been unknown since 1999, she fears she’ll never see him again. Monday, she gave investigators a DNA sample.

"Should it turn out that Adam is deceased or somebody comes up with a body that can't be identified, than we would have Adam's DNA to rule in or rule out,” said Sheriff Murphy.

But in a morning news conference, Murphy said there’s just as good a chance that Adam is living somewhere in the U.S. or the world. He is seeking as much publicity as possible. He appeared on CNN Monday afternoon. Adam’s story is now on CNN.com.

"We don't know what happened to Adam Herrman past 1999, when he was last seen,” Murphy told CNN.

Adam disappeared from the Pine Ridge Mobile Home Park where he lived with his adoptive parents. The park was searched last Wednesday by investigators after they got a tip from an undisclosed person a few weeks ago who told them Adam had been missing all these years.

Investigators said on Wednesday they found one of the answers they’d been looking for, but will not give details. As for the adoptive parents, who live in Derby, the sheriff says they could be charged for - among other things – never reporting him missing.

"I just don't understand how you could let something like that go. If it was my child, I'd be calling the police every day,” Broadfoot said.

An attorney representing Adam’s adoptive parents, Doug and Valerie Herrman, says they are filled with guilt for never reporting him missing, but they just figured he had run away to be with his biological family.

But the Herrman’s could be facing some serous charges. Their attorney has so far asked them not to speak.

Investigators still ask for the public’s help.  The Butler County Sheriff's Department can be reached at 316-322-4254.


Related Material:


Missing Boy's Brother Talks of Abuse

by Michael Schwanke (WICHITA, Kan.)

What happened to Adam Herrman?  How can an 11-year-old boy disappear for 10 years and nobody notice?  Many of his family members have the same questions.

"An 11 year old kid disappears and no one does anything about it.  It's sad.  It's very sad-breaks your heart," says Adam's adoptive brother who wants his identity concealed.

He lived in the home with Adam and wants to be a voice for his brother a boy who hasn't had one for a decade.

"I felt like I could have done more-you don't want to turn your parents in and get them in trouble."

Adam's brother is referring to abuse he says happened to Adam at the hands of his adoptive parents.

"What I remember most is the abuse and how we would defend him and do everything we could not to let it happen."

We tried talking to Adam's adoptive parents Doug and Valerie Herrman who live in a home outside of Rose Hill.

On Monday Doug Herrman told Eyewitness News the family's attorney doesn't want them to speak to the media.

Off camera last week, the Herrmans said Adam frequently ran away from home.

They say the last time Adam ran away in 1999, he didn't come back.  Two weeks passed and they were afraid to report it to police.  Eyewitness News obtained the couple's bankruptcy filings from November 2002, where they still listed Adam as a dependent.

Adam's brother says family members were told something different.

"I thought he went back to the state. That's what we were told.

Adam's brother says knowing what he knows now, he wishes he would have done more and has a message for Adam.

"That we all love you-please come forward. Let us know you're alright."

Last, but not least...

According to one other article about this "missing-person" case:

Many adoptive families in Kansas receive Medicaid to help them raise a special needs child. Those children with significant medical, emotional or developmental needs.

The state and parents come to an agreement prior to the adoption.

The assistance can be a one-time payment or reoccuring. If it's the latter, Medicaid requires the parents submit an annual written report to verify the money is still needed.

Their word is Medicaid's only source. They never go in person to check.

So how does this apply to Adam Herrman? According to family, his adoptive parents received state assistance, possibly thousands of dollars. Right now we don't know why. 

 [From:  "Case Raises Questions About Adoption Procedures", Alan Rocha, Jan 5, 2009, http://www.kwch.com/Global/story.asp?S=9620231&nav=menu486_2_1 ]

Advocates for adoption want people to see how every adopted child is a "special needs child".

I want more and more people to see how "special" so many adoptees are treated in their pre-screened, pre-approved homes.

Maybe more and more people will understand why so many angry adoptees don't see themselves as being lucky because they were adopted.

this is insane...

I see the world falling down around me!  HOW could this happen?  The same way they fooled everyone and got to adopt in the first place?  Trailer court?  Bankruptcy?  Gone for years and no one said anything?  Home schooled with no documentation?  Where is the supervisory teacher that is mandated to report on these families?  No church or family or friends?  WOW!  These people were well hidden, weren't they... right in the middle of a trailer court.
This makes me physically ill.  There is help; but the very people who placed these siblings in this home must have turned around and walked away; sighing a big sigh that they got their quota placed for the year.
This looks very bad for adoption through the state.  I remember one family who had two girls and adopted five brothers through the state.  The hell those brothers caused was apparent from day one and one year down the road, this family placed them back into care and TPR.  This in no way puts the blame on the kids; it was handled right; this was an extreme case of life and death. Those boys came from a home where they were brutalized and sexually abused.  This family did everything from building an outside private bathhouse to the mother quitting her job and getting rid of every possible weapon in the home.   And sometimes there is nothing that can be done...   they sought help but ended up giving up.     but this is insanity that the child just disappeared!

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

did they get and cash the sub check?

and did they get mediciad renewed each year... if so, that is what will get them jail time, unless the find a body...

The story of the girls in Maryland in the freezer is just as sick to me, or that witch from Texas who dumped five kids in an orphanage in Africa in 2003 or 2004.... and still cashed SSI and adoption subsidy checks...

yes, Kerry I agree that calling all kids adopted from foster care Special Needs is wrong... just like saying they all have attachment disorder... (translation... sick trash we have to pay people to keep...)

there is also a BIG underground in the attachment disorder world where they swap kids, etc...

but the thing is Teddy, in many states they could not have TPRd on the new kids... or they would have lost their other kids as well... (that is another issue as well).. I myself often feel both my son's sending state and the one we live in laugh at us for being stupid enough to let him in our home (he has been arrested for sexually assulting a neighbor in the middle of the night (breaking out of our home and into theirs..) and a bunch of stuff) WE GET NO HELP, OTHER than being offered another pill bottle ... which sometimes even is not covered... my son also came from the worste of the worste situation (all kinds of abuse, severe neglect, severe isolation...)

but this just off the wall.... I figure in the end they'll get time over cashing checks after the kid ran (or they killed him)

they don't even staff well enough to watch the kids with active foster care cases... how can they watch kids who have been adopted (and many of us would galdly not take the checks and crappy insurance to have them out of our lives...) so do you make a difference between kids on adoption sub and those not?

a lot of issues...

I also agree why would a kid be placed in a trailer park to begin with.

Parents with "special needs"

I was reading Carrie Craft's adoption blog yesterday, and was quite surprised to read the following:

there are people who are freaking out about the adoption screening process and the checks on children following an adoption. Let's not make this a complete adoption issue. Let's not forget about the little girl in Florida who's mother neglected to report as "missing" and that was a biological child. [From:  "In My Own Backyard", Jan 7, 2009, http://adoption.about.com/b/2009/01/07/in-my-own-backyard.htm ]

I suppose there are lots of people who would like the world to forget there are people like Judith Leekin and Renee Bowman getting paid to keep 'special children' in their home.  In both cases, the kids were kept inside the home, alright... one mother kept 2 out of the three sibling bodies safely tucked (in a number of pieces) inside a basement freezer, and the other mother kept her foundlings bound and tied and kept from school and medical care.  According to a news-report posted last January, 1 of her 10 adopted children was still missing.  [See:  Adopted Leekin child remains missing].  Both mothers made money taking care of their adopted children.

I suppose we're also supposed to turn a blind-eye to all the foster parents abusing the children in their care, too. [See http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/19204?cid=19249 for a very incomplete list.]

I suppose the world in general is to assume children put "in-care" are safe and snug as a bug, (and not shoved and suffocated under a rug)... and children put in new pre-screened homes are protected from future parental harm.

I'd like to assume that is true, too, but unfortunately, I know much better.

In Carrie's blog, she also wrote:

"The sad truth is that bad things happen to children. Unfortunately it's just the world we live in."

I suppose that means we should accept crap-care in child placement / family services?

I suppose we should all leave foster/adoption services "as is", because there is not a damn thing that can be done about abuse/neglect post-placement.

(And people wonder why I remain disgusted and disheartened by so many adoption-stories.... the attitude and approach of some simply blows my <still freaking> mind.)

in a class I had in college

they said foster care is there because it is cheaper than other ways to house the kids

special needs adoption sprang up mostly to save government money.... it cost the state millions less to place them in homes like Leekin and Bowman... than to keep them in group settings.

but, the thing that totally get missed why are they taking kids out of awful abuse to place them in a place just as bad or worse? as most people agree most people will treat their biological child better than a step kid, etc...

that other story your are covering about the large family in Oregon... Oregon now has very strict family size regulations (some kind of a start)

no, good adoptive and foster homes don't make money off of kids....

No, we need more people like you to speak out, fight, get in people's faces, let the truth out, care about these kids... quality care is less costly than jails, etc... if we can just get the gov to see that...

part of the problem is Social Worker suck... anyone that can stay in the field is basically heartless... they have one of the most important jobs, yet they take it so lightly (at least that is what I have seen)

the ego of the social worker...

You stated, "part of the problem is Social Workers suck... anyone that can stay in the field is basically heartless... they have one of the most important jobs, yet they take it so lightly..."
Such true words; and I think you must be able to state this from first hand knowledge.  Once people experience a situation that involves Social Workers, in ANY form, they come away with a different opinion than before.  There is just something about the ability to destroy another human being that makes the Social Workers I know/have known, become power-hungry. 
I have seen both sides:  Social Workers who have destroyed families, and Social Workers who stand on the verge of destroying ANY family they deem unsuitable to raise THEIR OWN children.  NO in between. 
There are such huge egos that go along with the title SW that if I were the one to hire these people, I would require a course in humbleness.  I would only hire those who KNOW the pain of loss or who have shown/proven their ability to see others' needs before EVER letting them near a family in crisis.
It is a known fact that I hate every person with the title SW because of the ones I have dealt with who have shown NO compassion in any way shape or form toward a needy human being such as myself.  I will say there is one who is so new that he has yet to form the hard crust of the seasoned SW; but the last time he was in my home I detected it in the making.  It never fails.  It seems to be a requirement.

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

Pound Pup Legacy