Doug and Valerie Herrman are accused of abusing their adopted son, Adam, and of not reporting he was missing after his 1999 disappearance at age 11 or 12. The couple continued to collected adoption subsidy payments until what would have been Adam’s 18th birthday, but told family that Adam had returned to state custody. The case came to light when someone reported that the boy hadn’t been seen in nine years. When questioned, the couple told police that Adam ran away. Relatives alleged that the Herrmans had abused Adam by punching him, pulling his hair, spanking him with a wooden spoon or belt, depriving him of food, and making him sleep in a bathtub without a blanket or pillow. Suspicions of abuse were reported by Adam’s school in 1998, after which the Herrmans withdrew Adam to homeschool him. The case is being investigated as a death.
Location: Towanda, Kansas