Mom Accused of Abandoning Nonverbal Son with Autism Says She Left Him on Road to 'Save Him' from Her

Heather Nicole Adkins, 32, was arrested in Georgetown, Ky., on Saturday evening and charged with felony counts of child endangerment and kidnapping

heather nicole adkins
Heather Nicole Adkins. Photo: Scott County Detention Center

An Indiana mother is accused of abandoning her 5-year-old son in Ohio before fleeing to Kentucky — and she said in a jailhouse interview that she did it to save the child from her.

Heather Nicole Adkins, 32, was arrested in Georgetown, Ky., on Saturday evening. She has been charged with felony counts of child endangerment and kidnapping.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, police allege that Adkins drove her 5-year-old son from their home in Shelbyville, Ind., more than 75 miles away to Cincinnati, Ohio. She allegedly dropped off the boy on Thursday evening.

A driver in Cincinnati spotted the boy — who is nonverbal and has autism — walking alone down the street. He was soaking wet and waving down cars. The driver, Josh Wanderski, called 911.

"It's a two-lane road, super dark, no lights, very windy, and it was also freezing," Wanderski told Fox 19. "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 the station. "He was really close to the road."

missing boy found
Colerain Police/Facebook

Adkins was arrested on Saturday in Georgetown, Ky. Police told WLWT that she was acting strange at a gas station when they apprehended her. After running Adkins' social security number, police found an outstanding warrant for her arrest in Kentucky for failing to pay a fine. They took her into custody.

According to the Cincinnati Inquirer, officers did not yet know that she was wanted on charges in Ohio. When they realized that she was the mother of the boy, they charged her in relation to his alleged abandonment.

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In a jailhouse interview with WKYT-TV, Adkins first said that she had left the child with other people before then saying she "didn't leave him with anyone."

"I'm just trying to understand why you ultimately chose to do that," the reporter, Jeremy Tombs, asked Adkins.

"To save him from me," Adkins replied.

The child is in the custody of Hamilton County Job and Family Services.

Adkins is currently represented by the public defender's office, who filed a not guilty plea on her behalf. The attorney did not immediately return PEOPLE's call for comment.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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