A Grove couple is hopeful a $50,000 cash reward will bring forth information that will help find their adoptive son, who has been missing since 1999, and deflect any wrongdoing away from them.
Adam Herrman was 11 years old when he was last seen at a mobile home park in Towanda, Kan., about 25 miles northeast of Wichita. Authorities in Butler County, Kan., have conducted several searches of the mobile home park and nearby areas.
Although Herrman, who would be 26 if he is still alive, was last seen in 1999, his disappearance wasn't reported to authorities until 2008, after a relative couldn't locate him.
Herrman lived with his adoptive parents, Doug and Valerie Herrman, in Kansas before his disappearance. The couple have said they believed Adam Herrman ran away and they did not report his disappearance because they feared they would lose custody of him and other children.
In addition, relatives said Valerie Herrman told them that Adam Hermann, who was being homeschooled, had been returned to state custody.
Now, an anonymous donor is offering a $50,000 cash reward for information leading to the whereabouts of Adam Herrman and the arrest and conviction of people involved in his disappearance, the Butler County sheriff's office confirmed this week.
“I am just glad they have a reward,” Doug Herrman said. “We have never given up the hope he is still alive.”
Doug and Valerie Herrman now live in Grove in a mobile home park community near the Cowskin arm of Grand Lake. They are considered “persons of interest” in their son's disappearance, the sheriff's office confirmed.
Doug Herrman said he believes the $50,000 reward will bring out information about their son's disappearance and they will be cleared of any crime.
The investigation into Adam Herrman's disappearance is ongoing, said Kelly Herzet, Butler County sheriff.
Herzet, who was the lead investigator in the case when Adam Herrman first was reported missing, said he hopes the reward will uncover new tips.
“I took the first phone call” in the investigation, Herzet said. “This case needs some closure.
“We need to get someone to tell us where Adam is or hear from Adam.”
Herzet said he has not received a telephone call from Doug or Valerie Herrman about their son's disappearance.
“They never call and ask for an update,” Herzet said.
Doug and Valerie Herrman were convicted in 2011 of adoption-related fraud. They were accused of welfare fraud after they falsely claimed Adam Herrman on their income taxes and received $15,000 in adoption subsidies.
Doug Herrman was sentenced to nine months in prison and Valerie Herrman was sentenced to seven months. They were ordered to pay $5,000 in fines and $15,488 in restitution.
They served their sentences and were released.
How to help
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Butler County sheriff's office at 316-322-4257 or 866-484-5924.