Today I am featuring Patricia (Patti) Adkins, missing since June 29, 2001 from Marysville, OH. Patti was last seen around midnight on June 29 at the Honda assembly plant where she worked second shift. After clocking out, she walked out to the parking lot with some co-workers and was never seen again. The plant where she worked was beginning a one-week shutdown, and Patti had told friends and family that she was leaving on vacation right after her shift ended, and that she would return a week later, on July 8, 2001. Consequently, no one realized that Patti was missing until she had been gone for over a week.
Patti was a single mother of one daughter, aged 7 at the time of Patti's disappearance. One of Patti's sisters was babysitting while Patti was on vacation. When Patti did not return to pick up her daughter, her sister reported her missing.
Patti told friends and family that she was having an affair with a married co-worker who was planning on leaving his wife for her. She had loaned him a large sum of money so that he could get his business out of debt. According to her sister, Patti and the co-worker were going on a week-long camping vacation that the man had arranged in a remote area of Canada. Patti asked a friend to drive her to work that last day. The man allegedly told Patti not to pack anything and that they would buy what they needed when they arrived. Patti said that they had arranged that after work, Patti would climb under the tonneau cover in the back of his pick-up and hide until he drove out of the parking lot, since he was married and did not want their co-workers to know about the affair since word might get back to his wife.
Patti's story really bothered me when I first saw it on Investigation Discovery, and at first I couldn't figure out why. But then I realized that it was the kind of thing that I too would have done when I was in my 20's, thinking it was exciting and perfectly reasonable. When I was that age, it wasn't that unusual for me to go off with boyfriends for several days without telling anyone where I was. If I had gone missing, it might have been days before my family realized it. When you are in your 20's, you don't believe in your own mortality. It also takes a while for the human brain to develop the ability to work through a situation and realize what the consequences of one's actions might be.
At least one other report refutes Patti's version of her relationship with the man, saying that while the co-worker was a friend, he did not return Patti's infatuation with him, and that in fact, her infatuation had turned to obsession and she was beginning to stalk him. In addition, the man's wife said he returned home around 2 a.m. after his work shift ended on June 29 and other family members confirmed that he was at home all week during the Honda plant shutdown. Another co-worker stated that the married co-worker dropped him off at his home after work, and that they had stopped for something to eat on the way. Odd behavior for a man going on a romantic getaway! Patti's co-worker has been questioned a number of times by police. Both his story and his wife's story appear to have changed from what they initially told the police (for example, at first the man said he was home all week, then later he said he had gone fishing over the weekend). The man's name has not been released on any of the television coverage due to legal issues (although he has been identified online as Brian Flowers of Dola, OH). He no longer works at the plant, reportedly because the other employees talking behind his back. One of Patti's family members said that, looking back, there are a number of things that they can now see should have set off warning bells, but Patti was a grown woman capable of handling her own life.
There are also reports that Patti was deeply in debt, that her life was in disarry, and she decided to disappear to escape her mounting problems and left her daughter with her sister because she knew her sister would provide a good home for the girl. This does not seem plausible, since Patti was devoted to her daughter and family, and to her pets, and had also made a hair appointment for the week following her scheduled vacation. She owned a house in a quiet neighborhood, got along well with her ex-husband, and had a good job. Her family describes her as big-hearted and trusting.
At the time of her disappearance, Patti Adkins was 29 years old - today she would be 40. She is 5'8" tall, weighed about 120 lbs. She has long light brown hair with blonde highlights and hazel eyes. She has a tattoo of a flower in the middle of her back, pierced ears, and a pierced navel. She was wearing a white Honda work uniform. Extensive ground, air, and water searches of the Maryville area have not turned up any evidence, and there has been no activity on Patti's bank accounts. As with all unsolved cases, there is undoubtedly information that her family and the police cannot discuss.
Maybe the co-worker did plan to kill Patti to avoid repaying the money he owed her or so his wife wouldn't find out; maybe they really did plan to go on vacation but had a fight after leaving the plant, and Patti got out of the truck and walked off into the night; maybe Patti was stalking the man and climbed into the back of his truck intending to "surprise" him and instead was killed accidentally and the man panicked and disposed of her body; maybe Patti took the $90,000 from her retirement account and disappeared of her own accord. Patti's family has accepted that she is deceased, and a court declared her dead in 2009. Regardless of her actions or motives, Patti's family deserves answers to her disappearance, and to bring her home if possible. If you have any information about Patti's disappearance, please contact the Marysville Police Department, 937/642-3900.