Mom accused of abandoning autistic son facing 11 years in jail, prosecutor says

Prosecutor Deters gives update on two major cases
Published: Mar. 11, 2022 at 1:57 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The mother indicted on kidnapping and endangering children charges could spend 11 years in prison, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced Friday.

Heather Adkins, 32, is accused of abandoning her 5-year-old nonverbal autistic son in Colerain Township on Feb. 17 as she drove back from Tennessee, Deters said.

Adkins, who is from Shelbyville, Indiana, drove down to Tennessee to drop off two of her three kids with a friend, according to the prosecutor.

Coming back from Tennessee, Adkins was with another adult and her son, Martin Thomas Adkins, Deters explained. The other adult was not Martin’s father and will not face charges, he stated. The man “did not have a duty of care” to Martin since he was not the father, Deters said.

Adkins drove to Copper Creek Lane in Colerain Township, where Deters said she “basically kicked the kid out the car.”

Martin was left in the pouring rain on a cold night on a road that had no sidewalks, Deters said.

Passing motorists spotted the soaking wet child and called 911 around 9 p.m., according to court documents and recordings of 911 calls.

Once Martin was in the care of the police, they shared his photo with FOX19 NOW and the media, asking for help to find his family.

Photos of the nonverbal 5-year-old were seen by Shelbyville residents who recognized the child as Martin Thomas Adkins.

When asked to describe Adkins’ actions on Feb. 17, Deters said there was only one word to sum it up.

Adkins was arrested on Feb. 19 in Georgetown, Kentucky, two days after Colerain Township police say she abandoned her son.

After she was arrested, Adkins claimed in a jailhouse interview she left her son with a friend and did not abandon him.

“I didn’t [abandon him]. 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.

Adkins eventually admitted she did not leave her young son with anyone.

She was extradited to Ohio from Kentucky on March 2.

If she is convicted on both kidnapping and child endangering children charges, Adkins could spend 11 years in prison, Deters stated.

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