(EL DORADO, Kan.) — There's a new prosecutor on the case of a missing boy in Butler County. Adam Herrman disappeared in 1999. His adoptive parents Doug and Valerie have been named suspects, but no one has been charged. However, they are facing accusations of financial crimes related to his disappearance.
The couple were in court Tuesday. They decided to waive their right to a preliminary hearing. The judge then sent the case to trial.
Eyewitness News talked with the prosecutor about his strategy going forward.
"At this point, we persevere with the prosecution and hope to find them both guilty," said Darrin Devinney, Butler County Attorney.
He says he confident that a jury will convict them at trial. The Herrmans are accused of accepting state money for their adoptive son son adam for years after he disappeared. That's the basis for the current charges, but Devinney says he's investigating the possibility of more charges.
Devinney replaces the former County Attorney Jan Satterfield, who left the position to become a judge. He says the title of Butler County Attorney may be new to him, but he's not new to this case. He's worked in this office for eleven years.
"My personal experience is handling child victim crimes," he said. "I feel this is the type of case I am able to handle."
Though how he will handle it may be different than his predecessor. Satterfield said she was pursuing first degree murder charges against the Herrmans. Devinney wouldn't get that specific.
"We want a full investigation and to figure out what happened to Adam. It could be a number of things at this point," he explained.
Devinney says he also disagrees with her strategy of convening a grand jury to consider charges.
"I am, at this point, not of the belief that is the best avenue for this case," he said. "But I would also not be foolish and rule out any option."