Mother accused of abandoning 5-year-old son in Ohio arrested in Kentucky

Published: Feb. 21, 2022 at 7:42 AM CST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX/Gray News) - Heather Nicole Adkins says she did not abandon her 5-year-old son who was found Thursday in Colerain Township.

Assistant Police Chief Darin Allgood with the Georgetown Police Department said Adkins, 32, was arrested in Georgetown, Kentucky, on Saturday for an unpaid fine from 2011, WXIX reported.

Allgood said the arrest happened after officers responded to reports of an unknown woman banging on car windows at a gas station.

He also said Adkins gave them a fake name.

From jail in Georgetown, Kentucky, Adkins confirmed that she is the mother of three children including 5-year-old Thomas, who is autistic and non-verbal.

According to court documents, Adkins left her son in a dark, dead-end street on Copper Creek Drive Thursday before driving off.

He was later found walking nearby on Gaines Road Thursday night by passing motorists, Colerain Township police said.

The 911 caller, Josh Wanderski, told the Hamilton County dispatch the boy was “out there by himself waving down cars.”

Adkins said she left Thomas with a friend and did not abandon him.

“I didn’t. That’s why he was left there, and I’m to go back there so he knows that I never left him. It’s just going to take a long time for him to trust me again and for me to trust myself as well,” she said.

But her story changed several times as she spoke from the jail.

She even claimed that she never left Thomas in Colerain, and he was with his brothers at her friend’s house in Tennessee.

“My kids are fine. All my kids are at my friend Crystal’s. You have to check. That’s what I’m telling you. All three of my children are down there with Crystal already,” Adkins said.

Crystalyn Davis confirmed to WXIX that Adkins dropped off two of her children at her home in Tennessee on Thursday.

Davis said the boys, who are brothers of the 5-year-old, are still in her care.

Adkins then said that she left Thomas with several different people in Colerain.

At one point, she said she did not know how he ended up wet and cold on the side of Gaines Road Thursday where Ronald Reese found him.

“If you didn’t want to deal with your child or your son, take him to the nearest relative that you feel is fit to take care of him and be responsible for him. If not, go to the nearest safe haven for the child,” Reese said.

Adkins did eventually say Thomas was left alone.

“No, I didn’t leave him with anyone. I knew I would be forgiven. It would take a long time. I just had to be able to get rid of one last demon, all the burdens that I’ve carried for all these years that were never meant to be mine,” she said.

According to jail records, Adkins is from Shelbyville, Indiana, which is about 75 miles from where 5-year-old Thomas was found in Colerain Township.

He is now in the custody of Hamilton County Job and Family Services.

“These types of cases simply break your heart. All children should grow up loved and wanted. I hope the child ultimately lands in a caring, loving home,” Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said Sunday.

It is still unclear as to why Adkins was in Kentucky during the time of her arrest.

Court records show Adkins faces one count of endangering children.

Legal analyst Mark Krumbein said it is a charge that could send her to prison.

“Endangering children, it would go from anywhere from probation up to eight years,” he said.

Krumbein said it would not be surprising if Adkins ends up facing more charges in the days to come.

“I would say we would have a full expectation that they’ll charge her with everything they can think of. You know, there are other possible charges, abandoning a child,” he said

Georgetown police say that Adkins will stay at the Scott County Detention Center until her scheduled court appearance for an extradition hearing on Tuesday at 1 p.m.

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