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'To save him from me' | Mother arrested for abandoning 5-year-old Indiana boy near Cincinnati

Police say the 5-year-old, who is nonverbal and has autism, was found about an hour after being abandoned.

CINCINNATI — Police have arrested the mother of a 5-year-old boy who was found wandering along a road after being abandoned in a Cincinnati suburb Thursday night. 

According to police in Georgetown, Kentucky, Heather Nicole Adkins was captured Saturday night when she was arrested at a gas station on an unrelated charge in Kentucky, according to Georgetown Assistant Police Chief Darin Allgood. When she was arrested, she gave police a false name but they were able to match her social security number.

It wasn't until later that they found out she was wanted in Ohio on charges related to the abandonment of her 5-year-old son.

Colerain, Ohio, police said the 5-year-old, who is nonverbal and has autism, was driven to Colerain Township, where he was abandoned near Sheed and Gaines roads by Adkins. According to court documents, the child was left at a dead-end street, which is near a creek that was flooded.

The boy was found walking along the road about an hour after being abandoned. 

James Love, of the Colerain Township Police Department, said officers spent Thursday night knocking on doors, hoping they'd find the child's family. When they didn't, he said they got child services involved. 

"I fully expected to find his parents in the morning," Love said. "Oftentimes, children, especially those who are autistic, wander out of bed and the parent calls later frantic. But by 10 a.m., no call."

That's when he said he "knew something wasn't right," and it became a criminal investigation. 

The department shared a photo with the public, and on Saturday, the police department shared an update, saying detectives had identified the boy and learned he was from Shelbyville, Indiana. 

"We have identified this child and are continuing to investigate this incident. Thanks to concerned residents who called us quickly last night, he is safe and warm. He will remain safe while we continue the investigation," the police department said in an update on social media. 

In their update, the department also said charges had been filed in connection with this incident, and detectives have "signed warrants" for Adkins, 32. 

She was later arrested in Kentucky and is being held in the Scott County Jail, where she's awaiting an extradition hearing that's scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 1 p.m. 

**Update February 19th, 2022 - Charges filed in connection with unidentified juvenile. Colerain Township Police...

Posted by Colerain Police on Saturday, February 19, 2022

In a jailhouse interview with a reporter from WKYT, Adkins gave conflicting information on who she left the child with before admitting she didn't leave him with anyone.

When asked why she would abandon him and leave him somewhere all by himself, Adkins responded, "To save him from me."

Anyone with information about this incident is being asked to contact the Colerain Police Department at 513-321-2677.

Indiana court records show Adkins was divorced from Kevin Adkins in Shelby County in 2019.

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