Patti Adkins was looking forward to a week away with her boyfriend in a remote part of Canada in July 2001. When she failed to return from the trip, all was not as it seemed. Somebody was lying but who? This is the story of Patti Adkins-is she missing or is she the victim of a perfect murder?
Patti Adkins was a 29 year old single mother who worked for Honda in Marysville, Ohio. She was in line for a promotion having worked in the business for ten years. July 4th was an exciting time in Marysville for the whole workforce as every year the company essentially ‘shuts down’ for a week. Patti was especially excited because it was to be her first break with her boyfriend*.
Patti’s sister Marcia agreed to look after Patti’s daughter for the week but she was a bit disturbed by some of the details of the trip. Patti told her she was going to a remote cabin in Canada, a place so remote that there was no phone coverage. She would also be bringing nothing with her and would buy clothes at their destination. Nevertheless she trusted Patti’s judgement and she seemed the happiest she had been in a long time. When Patti didn’t arrive home a week later, Marcia called her boyfriend who said he knew her from work but never dated her or went away with her. Marcia knew something was seriously wrong.
Patti’s disappearance was a mystery. Her sisters, best friend and close female colleague all knew she was dating a co-worker and Patti told them she was going away with him to a remote cabin in Canada. Apart from the few she confided in, nobody else knew because her boyfriend was in fact a married man with children. Patti had told her friend that the two would be heading away at midnight on June 29th when Honda closed. He told her he would drive but as he normally dropped a friend home, she would have to sneak into the car early and climb under the tonneau cover. Then when he dropped the friend off Patti would be able to get into the front seat for their drive to the cabin. Despite her friends finding this quite odd, Patti felt that it added to the mystery of the relationship.
Police spoke with employees at Honda. Apart from the one person Patti confided in, nobody else knew of the relationship. They did all find it strange that she clocked off work at nineteen seconds past midnight on the night she was due to go to Canada as they said that Patti would always be the last to leave. The mystery deepened-what happened to Patti? Was she even dating a colleague?
Patti’s sisters told police of certain gifts she had bought for her colleague including a Hard Rock Cafe tshirt and told them that she had given him a lot of money that he needed for the business. Patti had told her sister that he owned a business with his brother in law and he wanted to sell his share and then ask for a divorce. Police could account for around $90,000 that was withdrawn from her account from savings and loans but they could not establish where it went. Her colleague’s account showed no unusual activity. Patti’s sister told police she had asked her sister if she had receipts but Patti told her that the colleague did not want there to be a paper trail in case his wife found out. Patti told her sister that he was due to start paying the money back in July.
Police searched the colleague’s house. A Hard Rock Cafe tshirt was found but that didn’t prove anything. They brought in cadaver dogs and the dogs alerted them to an area in the back garden. The colleague’s wife said that the area had recently been filled with left over concrete. The ground was dug up but nothing was found. His wife told police that he came home that night after work and was around all week except for Thursday when he went fishing. Police looked at his truck. He had driven a truck from the business he owned with his brother in law. The tonneau cover was missing. They found one rolled up and stored in the attic. They discovered it had been bought on June 29th and was installed. Then a week later, it was taken off and stored. Police found this rather strange as they cost a few hundred dollars and it seemed unusual to install it for only a week. They had it tested. Animal hairs and blood were found on it. Some of the animal hairs matched Patti’s cat. They decided not to test the blood. It was a tiny spot and if tested, the entire sample would be consumed. They are waiting for more advanced technology and as a result the case is basically now a cold case.
Patti’s case is a mystery to say the least. Patti may have been the victim of an almost ‘perfect murder’. The colleague had a perfect excuse to tell her to keep everything secret as he was married, he told her not to bring anything with her so he would have nothing else to get rid of, he told her they would be going to a remote place but never told her exactly where so nobody even knew what area to search and there was no paper trail. The only thing he didn’t account for is when a woman says that she will ‘tell nobody’, it usually means that she will tell at the very least her closest friends. There is also the possibility that maybe Patti wanted to disappear. Maybe the $90,000 that was withdrawn from her account was for her own personal use and the debt was too much or maybe she was gradually taking it out so she would have a large amount of money to start a new life with. If that is the case, what would have been serious enough for her to leave her seven year old daughter behind? Why were her cat hairs on the tonneau cover and why would she tell her sisters and friends about an imaginary relationship if it didn’t exist? If the colleague is lying though, it would seem his wife must know something. She told police he arrived home after work that night. Unfortunately all that exists at the moment are questions and mere speculation. Police know that they will only get one shot to convict the colleague if he did do something and they are not willing to jeopardise their chance by testing the tiny blood sample.
*Patti’s colleague cannot be named for legal reasons