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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Last search for evidence in Adam Herrman case concludes

February 22, 2009


BUTLER COUNTY, Kansas – Butler County authorities conducted their last planned search for clues in the disappearance of Adam Herrman, a Towanda boy who went missing nearly 10 years ago.

Authorities began searching the area around the Towanda mobile home park where Adam lived when he went missing for the third time Saturday at 10 a.m. The search only lasted a short time on Saturday. It was the fourth search of the area in the last couple months.

"We've done everything we can do out here," said Butler County Sheriff Craig Murphy.
Adam was 11 when he disappeared in 1999, but his adoptive parents never reported him missing. It was only after a family member came forward after Thanksgiving last year when officials became aware of the missing boy.

Authorities continue to slowly build a criminal case against the boy’s adoptive parents, Doug and Valerie Herrman. They're the only two suspects police have named in the investigation.
The County Attorney told KSN news last month her office would not need a body to file murder charges in the case. Sheriff Murphy said he continues to meet with prosecutors regularly about the case, including a two meeting on Monday.

Murphy said it will be up to her to decide if they have gathered enough evidence to bring the case to court. "It becomes legal maneuvering so to speak from her stand point," said Murphy. "What do I need to prove my case to a jury?"

The Herrmans maintain they are innocent, claiming Adam ran away in 1999 and they didn't report him missing out of fear they would lose their other foster children.

"Prosecutors and judges need to be very careful not to mistake a disappearance with a homicide case", said Doug Herrman's attorney Dan Monnat. "Prosecuting a homicide case without a body poses a grave risk of conviction of an innocent person." (Or conviction for the brutal murder of an 11 year-old boy.)

Doug and Valerie Herrman are now represented by separate attorneys.
Anyone with any information is still asked to call Butler County Authorities.

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