Heather Nicole Adkins was arrested three days after her son was found alone
Police in Colerain Township, a town northwest Cincinnati, found the boy wondering alone last Thursday following reports from passersby, and asked for help to identify him.
The following day, the Colerain Police Department posted on Facebook that it had identified the boy, who was described as “non verbal” and living with autism, and that he was well.
His mother, 32-year-old Heather Nicole Adkins, was apprehended on Saturday with an arrest warrant in Kentucky, where she was traced to. She has been accused of abandoning her son days before his sixth birthday.
Colerain Township police said the boy had been driven from his home in Shelbyville, Indiana, and “was abandoned in the area of Sheed Road and Gaines Road” on Thursday last week.
The Indiana city is about 75 miles from Cincinnati, in southwest Ohio, and almost 80 miles from Georgetown, Kentucky, where Ms Adkins was arrested.
In an interview with WKYT News from her Kentucky jail cell, Ms Adkins told a reporter on Sunday that she had meant to leave her son with two different friends.
Ms Adkins also appeared to admit that she “didn’t leave him with anyone”.
Georgetown police arrested her on Saturday at a gas station for acting suspiciously, and according to reports, Ms Adkins had been treated for drug usage earlier that day.
The boy’s grandmother told NBC News affiliate WLWT 5 News that the boy turned six on Saturday and that her family was “is in a state of shock because it’s not the Heather that we know that would do this to her child”.
“It feels like a nightmare,” said Sharon Eads. “I mean I love my daughter, I’m her mother, but I love my grandchildren too…I don’t know what set this off I really don’t”.
The Colerain Township Police Department said while Ms Adkins was in custody in Georgetown on Sunday, “we are working with authorities to return Adkins to Ohio to face her charges”.
It remains unclear what charges will be issued against the woman, or if she has a lawyer.