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Cleveland case brings hope to families of missing Kansas children

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, May 7, 2013, at 6:42 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, at 1:33 p.m.

How to help

If you have a tip about a missing child from Wichita, police ask that you call the investigations division of the Wichita Police Department at 316-268-4646.

If you have a tip about Adam Herrman, missing from Towanda since 1999, call the Butler County Sheriff’s Office at 316-322-4257.

The National Center for Exploited and Missing Children has a searchable database for missing children. Go to www.missingkids.com/search.

Pearlie May Muldrow hopes that someday, someone like Charles Ramsey, Cleveland’s 15-minute hero, finds her great-granddaughter.

Jaquilla Scales has been missing since Sept. 5, 2001. The little girl called “Grammy Boo” by her family disappeared when she was 4 years old from a home in the 1600 block of North Volutsia, near 13th and Hillside.

Ramsey helped find Amanda Berry, missing since she was 16, and two other women when he heard a woman screaming from a nearby house Monday in Cleveland.

When Muldrow learned that three women who had disappeared 10 years ago had been found, hope grew in her heart.

“I’ve always felt like she’s gonna be found. I sure hope the same thing happens to us,” she said.

Area law enforcement officers said stories such as the one coming out of Cleveland raise awareness about missing children and adults and prove that people can be found years later.

Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet said he immediately thought about another missing child — Adam Herrman, last seen in 1999 in Towanda when he was 11. Herrman’s adoptive parents never reported the boy missing. He would be 25 today.

“You want to hope and pray that Adam Herrman is still alive,” said Herzet, who was the lead detective on that case.

Wichita police Capt. Brent Allred, who oversees the crimes against persons division, said, “you just never know.”

“We’re hoping that somebody someday will see something, notice something that’s unusual so we can come and check it out and hopefully find all those who are still missing,” he said.

Neighborhood awareness is crucial, he said. If Ramsey hadn’t responded when Berry screamed for help, she and the two other women still could be missing.

There’s nothing new in the Jaquilla Scales or Adam Herrman cases, investigators said.

Others also are missing from Wichita. April Wiss, who would be 29 today, was believed to be a runaway when she disappeared in January 2000, but she disappeared right before she was to testify against a man in a statutory rape case. Also missing from Wichita are Alexis Crenshaw, since Aug. 21, now 17; Eryn Gray, since April 1, 2010, now 7; and Alfredo Perez, since May 19, 2007, now 12, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which lists 21 missing children from Kansas.

Eureka Scales, Jaquilla’s mother, said she heard about the case in Cleveland and thought, “I’m glad they home safely. But mine’s still out there somewhere. Hopefully she can do the same thing, you know.”

Herzet would like that for Herrman.

“I hope he sees the story (about Amanda Berry),” Herzet said, “and calls someone and says, ‘Hey, I’m Adam Herrman. I’m alive.’ Wouldn’t that be wonderful?”

Reach Deb Gruver at 316-268-6400 or dgruver@wichitaeagle.com.

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