Shiela Stogsdill

Special to the Grove Sun

A former Kansas couple who live at Grand Lake and are persons of interest in the disappearance of their adopted son have been sentenced on a welfare fraud conviction.

Doug Herrman, 57, was sentenced Monday in Butler County, Kan., to nine months in prison. His wife, Valerie Herrman, 54, was sentenced to seven months in prison, said Darren Devinne, Butler County attorney.

They were ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and $15,488 in restitution. The couple pleaded guilty June 17 to stealing $15,000 in adoption subsidies after their son Adam Herman, 11, disappeared in 1999.

They were accused of falsely claiming the boy on their income taxes and failing to report to the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services that the child was no longer living in their home, records show.

Judge Davie Riche admonished the couple and said their son's face “should have been on a milk carton” and law enforcement agencies should have been notified, Devinne said.

If Adam Herrman is alive, he would be 24. The investigation into his disappearance is ongoing, Devinne said.

The boy was last seen at a mobile home park in Towanda, Kan., about 25 miles northeast of Wichita.

He was reported missing by a relative in 2008. Butler County authorities in 2009 conducted several searches of the mobile home park and areas near the Whitewater River.