The adoptive father of a missing Kansas boy maintains he is innocent in his son's disappearance.
FactFinder 12 Investigators found Doug Herrman at his home in Oklahoma where he lives with his wife Valerie and two of Adam Herrman's siblings and gave his first on camera interview.
Adam Herrman was last seen in 1999, but never reported missing by his parents. It wasn't until 2008 that a tip from a family members helped investigators discover Adam was missing.
The couple served some prison time for welfare fraud because they were still cashing state aid checks meant to go to Adam's care during that time.
They have not been charged with Adam's disappearance. They still remain the main suspects in the case.
"I believe Doug knows what happened to Adam and he's told himself so long that he ran away and that's the story he's sticking to and will always stick to," said Kelly Herzet, Butler County Sheriff.
Doug Herrman is standing by that story. He claimed that Adam simply ran away and the family never reported him missing. We asked him why he didn't call police.
"We were told by SRS that if we ever had any more trouble with anything they would strip the other kids away from us," Herrman said.
He said it was a mistake they still regret today.
"What I did by not notifying the police when Adam ran away was terribly, terribly wrong," Herrman said. "I can't take it back. If I could, yes I would. But I can't."
Sheriff Herzet doesn't believe it.
"I don't feel sorry for them," Herzet said. "If the public knew everything I knew they wouldn't feel sorry for them either."
Herzet said Doug and Valerie have never contacted his office to ask about their son's case.
"I'm surprised Doug answered the door and talked to you, because he's sure not talking to us," Herzet said. "If he's innocent and really wants to find where Adam is he would be cooperative and drive from his home in Oklahoma and talk to us."
Herrman said he was told not to contact authorities by his attorney and investigators because he and his wife are suspects. Herzet said that's not true and he would be happy to talk to them.
Herzet recently announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to Adam. Doug says he is grateful the anonymous donor stepped forward.
"We pray every day," Herrman said." When we found out about the $50,000 we were so overjoyed. I told my wife that someone out there knows something for $50,000. They're going to say something."
Doug described Adam as being artistic and says he loved to draw. He and Valerie showed us a scrapbook with Adam's photos and a portrait of what appeared to be a normal family.
Herzet explained a much different story -- one of abuse and neglect.
"There's so much the public doesn't know that I can't share with you right now," Herzet said.
Doug said he never harmed Adam, but admitted to never reporting him missing. Only after investigators discovered their secret, he makes a plea for Adam's return.
"Adam if you see this I love you son," he said. "I've never stopped, mom has never stopped, please contact the sheriff. Contact us. We want you home."
If you have information about the case you asked to contact 316-322-4257 or crime stoppers at 866-484-5924.