It was on June 29, 2001, exactly 18 years ago today that 29-year-old Patricia ‘Patti’ Adkins packed her bag and headed to her job at the local Honda Plant in Marysville, Ohio. The single mother of one young daughter was looking forward to her last shift before what she thought would be a romantic getaway with a fellow line operator with whom she was having a relationship.
The couple had planned a vacation to a remote cabin in Canada however, this trip had to be kept on the down low. You see, the two had a clandestine relationship due to the man being married. Their plan was to leave together in the his truck after their shifts. Patti had hitched a ride from a friend into work that day so her car wouldn’t sit in the company parking lot, drawing attention or looking suspicious while she was out of town.
Patti was last seen clocking out at 19 seconds after midnight on June 29, 2001 wearing her white ‘Honda of America’ uniform. With their relationship being so secretive a rather complicated plan was concocted so they could leave together. Patti was to hide in the bed of her boyfriend’s truck under the snap down bed cover because apparently a third person, also a co-worker, was going to be getting a ride home that night. Since the boyfriend was married, he didn’t want other people to know he and Patti were seeing each other so she reportedly snuck into the bed of the truck and prepared herself for their secret rendezvous.
She was never seen again.
Patti arranged for her sister Marcia Pitts to watch her daughter while she was on her trip, saying she would pick her daughter up on Sunday, July 8. That day came and went and Patti never arrived. Her family knew something horrible must’ve happened as Patti would never leave her daughter for an extended period of time.
As the search for Patti heated up all eyes pointed to the man she was last seen with, her married boyfriend. When he was questioned, he denied all involvement claiming he and Patti never had plans to go on vacation together and that he only knew her ‘slightly’. He said he and a coworker left the plant together that night and drove toward Kenton, Ohio, stopping only at a Burger King for some dinner. He also claimed they had to wait 45 minutes at the drive-thru line, then headed home. The boyfriend’s wife backed up his alibi, stating that he arrived home at 2:30 AM which was his normal routine. She also claimed to have no knowledge of an affair. When the Burger King manager was questioned they said there was absolutely no drive thru back up and related that they were never busy at that hour.
Items later found in the boyfriend’s house validated their affair. He would also fail a lie detector test. Other evidence included a single drop of blood in his truck bed but was unable to be tested due to the minuscule size. They also found cat hair reportedly matching Patti’s cat found in the bed of his truck as well. Interestingly enough it’s also been reported that Patti had given him thousands of dollars in the months leading up to her disappearance to help him “buy out” his wife in a business the married couple ran together. Patti did so at his behest because he wanted to prevent his wife from taking the business during a potential future divorce.
While Patti Adkins’ boyfriend has always been the prime suspect, evidentiary requirements for murder measure beyond that of a resonable doubt and in this case, authorities say they just didn’t have enough to bring a conviction.
While her body has never been found Patti has been declared deceased by law enforcement.
Anyone with information on Patti Adkin’s disappearance is urged to contact the Union County, Ohio Sheriff’s Office at (937) 645-4110.
Stegmiller, Shane (2001) The Columbus Dispatch, August 7, 2001