5-Year-Old Autistic Boy Abandoned by Mother, Found Wandering Alone: Police

A woman was arrested and charged on Friday for allegedly abandoning her 5-year-old autistic son, police said.

Heather Nicole Adkins, 32, was taken into police custody a day after her son, whose name has not been released to the public, was discovered wandering around Colerain Township, Ohio, just outside of Cincinnati. The boy, who is described as being non-verbal on account of autism, was picked up by police after motorists spotted him wandering around alone.

It was later determined that the boy was from Shelbyville, Indiana, roughly 75 miles northwest of Cincinnati, and had been abandoned at least a few hours before being picked up.

"Thanks to concerned residents who called us quickly last night, he is safe and warm," the Colerain Police Department posted on Facebook. "He will remain safe while we continue the investigation."

Adkins was arrested at a gas station in Georgetown, Kentucky, by officers responding to a call about a suspicious person, NBC affiliate WLWT 5 News reported. Once approached, officers said she began to act oddly and did not have her ID. Georgetown is approximately 80 miles south of Colerain Township.

mother arrested autistic son
A mother was arrested in Kentucky on Sunday for allegedly abandoning her young autistic son. Above, a representational image of a woman being arrested. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

While being questioned, she said that she was from Shelbyville and had three children, including one with autism claiming that all three were safe with friends. She also claimed to have received treatment for meth and heroin addiction at a Georgetown hospital earlier on Sunday.

Despite a warrant issued for her arrest in Colerain Township, booking records obtained by WLWT indicate that Adkins was taken to Scott County Jail for failure to pay a charge back in 2011. The station was unable to confirm if the Colerain warrant had been activated and was told that if it had not been, Adkins might be released from jail.

"Until that warrant is made active, yes, she could possibly leave," Georgetown Assistant Police Chief Darin Allgood told WLWT. "It depends on what the conditions are of this warrant that she's in jail for right now. If it's pay a fine, she could leave and if she pays that fine, yes, it may be one to where she's not able to leave it. Just depends on the stipulations."

Newsweek reached out to the Colerain Township Police Department for a comment or update on this story, but did not hear back before publishing.

"These types of cases simply break your heart," Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said on Sunday, according to Fox 19. "All children should grow up loved and wanted. I hope the child ultimately lands in a caring, loving home."