Heather Nicole Adkins, the Indiana woman accused of abandoning her non-verbal, autistic 5-yr-old by the roadside, has signed an extradition waiver and is on her way back to Ohio.
According to what police in three different states have pieced together, on February 17th, just days before his sixth birthday, Adkins drove her son, Martin “Thomas” Adkins, roughly 75 miles from their home in Shelbyville to an Ohio suburb near Cincinnati. It was there, court documents state, that she left Thomas – wearing only a burgundy and gray sweatsuit and black Shaq gym shoes – on a dark, dead-end street before driving away. He was found by a passing motorist on a nearby road about an hour later. The driver, who described the boy as “soaking wet” and confused, called 911.
“It’s a two-lane road, super dark, no lights, very windy, and it was also freezing,” stated Josh Wanderski, the man who came to the abandoned child’s aid. “He was just on the side of the road. He was waving me down. Luckily I was close so that I could call the police.”
“He didn’t really understand what was going on,” Wanderski told a local news station. “He was really close to the road.”
Although initially no one knew the boy’s identity, the Colerain Township Police Department was able to identify Thomas through social media posts by the following day.
Meanwhile, Adkins was on her way through Kentucky. On February 19th, she was arrested at a Georgetown gas station for banging on car windows and “acting strangely.” (Perhaps not coincidentally, police later confirmed Adkins had been treated at a local hospital for heroin and meth intoxication.) Despite giving the police a fake name, Adkins was quickly identified and arrested for an unpaid fine from 2011. Georgetown police were unaware she was wanted in connection with her son’s abandonment at the time.
By that very next day however, Georgetown PD realized the woman they had in custody was the same woman police in Ohio were looking for, and added a misdemeanor endangering children charge. Adkins then gave a jailhouse interview to a local news station in which she admitted abandoning her son “to save him from me.”
Despite that, court records show Adkins pleaded not guilty during a Feb. 22 court appearance.
A few days later, prosecutors in Ohio’s Hamilton County charged her with kidnapping, a felony, which enabled her extradition. Police are still investigating the matter, and other charges may still follow.
Thomas is currently staying with a foster care family in the Cincinnati Child Protective Service program. He has two brothers, who are with a family friend.
Anyone with information on the case is encouraged to contact the Colerain Police Department at 513-321-2677.