EL DORADO, Kan./ A Grand Lake couple, who pleaded guilty to a Kansas felony theft charge after they continued to accept money in adoption subsidies years after their adopted son disappeared, will be sentenced next month.
Valerie and Doug Herrman, of Grove, entered the plea on June 17 in Butler County District Court to accepting $15,488 from November 2003 until July 8, 2005 and falsely claiming Adam Herrman on their income taxes. They were scheduled to go to trial June 21.
Prosecutors said at the time the theft charge was filed in 2010 the couple took $52,800 from the state, but later amended the charge to reflect a shortened time frame and less money.
Authorities think Adam went missing in 1999; however, his disappearance wasn’t reported to authorities until 2008 when a relative came forward.
Sentencing is set for Aug. 1, according to the Butler County District Attorney’s office.
In 2010 then Butler County chief prosecutor, Jan Satterfield, called the couple “persons of interest” in Adam’s disappearance. Darrin C. Devinney, Butler County Attorney did not return telephone calls.
Adam was last seen at a mobile home park in Towanda, Kan., about 25 miles northeast of Wichita. Butler County authorities conducted several searches of the mobile home park and areas near the Whitewater River in 2009.
Relatives said Valerie Herrman told them that Adam, who was being home-schooled, had been returned to state custody. His parents told authorities that the boy ran away.
If alive, Adam would be 24-years-old.