ANDERSON — Kendra Penn’s stepfather, Timothy Adkins, was listed as one of 30 people from Anderson on the Indiana Missing Person Bulletin on Tuesday. The problem is Adkins wasn’t missing.

Adkins remained on the list for almost a year after he was found in a Dearborn County jail by Penn a month after he was reported missing.

“We found him July 5,” Penn said. “We spent three days straight looking for him. We went and looked behind Frisch’s – that little wooded area back there – we went to tent city. We honestly thought we were going to find him dead.”

Adkins, 52, was reported by his family as missing to the Anderson Police Department on June 1, 2018, after last being seen on May 18, 2018.

He was booked into the Dearborn County Sheriff’s Office on May 25, 2018. When the family notified Anderson, they were told that Timothy would have to physically come to the office in order to be removed from the state’s missing persons list.

The list is updated daily, but Adkins isn’t the only person listed on the bulletin who is no longer considered missing. Mona Davis was found dead in her apartment on June 21 but was still on the list Tuesday.

Penn said her stepfather was separated from her mother and had been bouncing between friends and relatives before his disappearance.

She said the family learned he was staying in abandoned homes and that he was struggling with addiction problems. He was reported missing after no one heard from him for about four weeks.

“He was gone,” Penn said. “He wasn’t here, he wasn’t there, he wasn’t anywhere possible.”

Penn urged her mother to make a missing persons report and started searching for her stepfather in wooded areas and under bridges fearing she would stumble upon his final resting place.

When she found him online she was both relieved and angry at the same time.

“It really sucked to know he was gone, but he was safe,” Penn said.

Penn's mother, Desiree Adkins, said her daughter never gave up hope he would be found.

“She wouldn’t give up,” Desiree Adkins said. “She really knew he was alive.”

When Desiree Adkins filed the missing persons report at the Anderson Police Department, police assured her they would check the jails and hospitals and notify her if her husband was found, she said.

“I never heard anything,” she said.

They immediately contacted the police department when Timothy Adkins was found, but they were told he could not be removed from the state’s missing person’s list. He had to physically come to the police station so they could verify he was no longer missing, Desiree Adkins said.

“I told them he can’t do that – he’s in jail,” she said.

Elizabeth Freestone, Desiree Adkins’ stepsister and close friend, said she went with her stepsister to notify them Timothy Adkins was missing.

“I do believe a lot of people get dismissed because either they are poor or they have addictions,” she said. “It shouldn’t matter what you have done in your life. It should matter. Everyone should be treated equally. Everyone deserves protection.”

Freestone said the family felt helpless and there was nowhere to turn for help after making the missing persons report.

“I do think the Anderson Police department needs to get up and do a little bit more when it comes to not only kids being runaways, but missing adults,” she said.

“I went through this with my teenager running away,” Freestone said.

She said she would take her daughter to the police station to have her removed from the missing persons list and six months later someone from the department would come to her home asking if her daughter was found.

Freestone said if the police department had done a records check when the family reported him missing they would have seen he was incarcerated and alleviated their concern.

Anderson Police Department Maj. Joel Sandefur said criminal checks are not always conducted when officers take reports, unlike when an arrest is made.

“Each case is unique to itself and you handle it case by case in many circumstances,” he said. “Many of them in many situations are unique to themselves.”

Sandefur also said the department can’t remove Timothy Adkins from the missing persons list without verifying it with other law enforcement agencies, despite the fact he was sentenced months after the missing report was made and he is listed on the state’s website.

He said the family should have contacted the Indiana Department of Correction to have him removed.

Eileen Orban, director of the Indiana Clearinghouse for Information on Missing Children and Missing Endangered Adults, said the only agency that can remove a person listed as missing is the one that took the missing report.

Orban said it should not take weeks or even months to remove someone from the list.

“The only answer I can give you is that it is an imperfect system and sometimes cases do fall through the cracks. Even though we try very hard and have stopgap measures in place, they don’t work 100% of the time,” Sandefur said.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Sandefur said both Timothy Adkins and Mona Davis were removed as missing persons from the database.

Penn said the removal of her stepfather's name will finally give her family closure and he will be released from the Indiana Department of Correction in September.

“We will probably never know the whole story about how he got down to Dearborn County or what made him go there until then,” she said.

Follow Traci L. Miller @_TraciMiller on Twitter, email her at traci.miller@heraldbulletin.com, or call her at 765-640-4805.

More information

To find out more about the Indiana Clearinghouse for Information on Missing Children and Missing Endangered Adults, call 317-233-5125 or toll free at 1-800-831-8953.

Missing in Madison County

Adams, Mackenzie Dawn, 17, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen June 29, 2019.

Aynes, Alexis Riley, 17, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen Jan. 2, 2019.

Belvedere, Ralph, 66, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen Oct. 22, 2015.

Blossom, Nakia, 14, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen May 18, 2019.

Bragg, William D. III, 66, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen Oct. 22, 2015.

Brewer, Owen, 44, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen June 22, 2019.

Burke, Michael Warren, 61, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen Jan. 11, 2018.

Davis, Elasia, 16, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen April 9, 2019.

Durbin, Jayden R., 14, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen May 31, 2019.

Figueroa, Araseli, 30, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen July 8, 2007.

Hinson, Darron, 48, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen May 17, 2019.

Hoeppner, Brookelyn Ca, 22, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen May 1, 2019.

Johnson, Aries, 15, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen May 1, 2019.

Larson, Lana, 15, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen June 23, 2018.

Love, Tremmeric L., 17, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen Feb. 27, 2019.

Mandrell, Ronald, 53, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen July 9, 2018.

Miller, Kearstin, 17, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen Aug. 23, 2018.

Morales, Luis, 17, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen May 19, 2019.

Nance, Donterious T., 17, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen May 11, 2018.

Ocampo,Paul, 16, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen April 23, 2018.

Perry, Aniyah A. 14, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen May 25, 2019.

Phillips, Evelyn, 16, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen Dec. 31, 2017.

Pravata, Justin, 17, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen Oct. 3, 2018.

Preston, Mitchell Edward Sr., 68, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen Aug. 1, 1997.

Racicot, Armani Michelle, 14, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen Oct. 8, 2018.

Roach, Bobby, 53, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen April 25, 2019.

Rush, Shantice, 17, Anderson Police Department reported last seen June 7, 2019.

Williams, Desmond Tashawn, 27, Anderson City Police Department reported last seen July 1, 2018.

Creech, Melinda Karen, 53, Madison County Sheriff’s Department reported last seen Sept. 5, 1984.

McCrary, Kelly Jo, 50, Madison County Sheriff’s Department reported last seen June 8, 1991.

Wisner, Teresa L., 53, Madison County Sheriff’s Department reported last seen May 24, 1990.

To read a full list of the people missing in Indiana, visit https://www.in.gov/isp.

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