Update on 1999 disappearance case of Kansas boy whose parents never reported him missing

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EL DORADO, Kan. (AP) — Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet said Thursday in a news conference that he has his doubts that Adam Herrman, who disappeared from Towanda, Kan., in 1999 when he was 11-years old is still alive.

Herrman’s adoptive parents never reported him missing.

Kelly HerzetBut on Thursday, Sheriff Herzet announced that the reward to help find Adam Herrman has increased to $100,000. The previous reward was already a substantial sum of $50,000, but Herzet said an anonymous donor has put forward more funds in hopes that the additional money will convince someone to come forward with information.

Adam Herrman disappeared in 1999 from the family’s Towanda home in southeast Kansas but wasn’t reported missing until 2008 when his older sister contacted authorities. He remains the subject of a missing person investigation.

His adoptive parents, Doug and Valerie Herrman, were convicted in 2011 for receiving state adoption subsidies after he went missing.

The National Center for Exploited and Missing Children says Adam had numerous scars on his abdomen, a scar on his left thigh and a birthmark on his lower back.

The age progression photo of Adam shows what he may look like at 26 years old.


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  • Elisa Breitenbach

    Did you know we only have two states that make reporting missing children like Adam a requirement? Kansas officials can’t be much on protecting children after years and years of performance audit reports by Legislative Post Audit Committee. It’s a sick system that abuses children much more then protects them.

    • Kivalina Mauck Gwynn

      I agree. I think this child is dead and I do not think his remains will ever be found.Reason I think this is he was 11 years old when he went missing,first off how is a 11 year old going to RUN AWAY and take care of himself at 11?It takes MONEY to survive. They(the parents ) keep saying he ran away and even the interviews they begged him to come home.They know he is dead.The VERY first interview the Mom gave she stated the whole state of Kansas could be dug up and he wont be found in Kansas…DING DING first clue,where did they go that year????? Or Who all died that year?Could they have tossed his body in an already dug grave? I really myself think they left Kansas with Adam ALIVE Killed him and did something with the body..

  • JenLamb35

    I wondered the same thing – why didn’t family not report that they hadn’t seen him in almost TEN YEARS??? I can’t believe for a minute that I could hide that from my family, especially for that long!

  • Tbp

    I was a foster child in Kansas in the 70’s. it was easy to be lost with dwindling resources to keep up with you. I do not have a lot positive to say about that time. Maybe the sister just kept quiet to spare herself the same fate or because she was too young to really know what happened.

  • SnowyOwl

    I was a foster child in Kansas from 1982 to 1985. I was abused by my foster parents and told my caseworker. She then told my foster parents what I said and did nothing more. I had to run to escape the abuse. Fortunately, I was 17 and was able to stay away. I will never forgive my caseworker for what she did. I feel so sad for the boy in this story. I know what that feeling of hopelessness is like.

  • DC

    Everyone, both family and friends who were in and out of that house both before and after Adam disappeared need to be investigated. Ask the other children, they will know.

    And I beg the state to open those SRS records.

  • Ashley

    Poor child was abused, tortured, starved, and ultimately murdered. And they got away free! Funny thing is Doug recently died, Valerie is alone and ill and now their daughter’s son was in a bad accident. I have faith in God. Evil, evil people!

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