Patricia Ann Adkins, age 29, went missing from Marysville, Ohio on June 29, 2001.
Patricia, commonly known as Patti, was last seen when she left the Honda plant where she worked an evening shift, seconds after midnight. The plant would be closed for the following week in observance of the Fourth of July holiday.
Patti told her family and friends that she would be going on a trip to an unknown location, though likely a remote part of Canada, with a married male co-worker that she was romantically involved with. Prior to leaving for work that afternoon, she made arrangements for the care of her daughter and pets. She packed a duffel bag. She got a ride to work from a friend, as she and her co-worker were to leave for their trip directly from work.
When Patti did not return from her trip as scheduled, and her family began searching for her, a string of convoluted inconsistencies began to develop.
The first thing Patti’s family did was contact the co-worker. Patti’s sister began to panic when the co-worker acted confused as to who exactly Patti was, and claimed he knew nothing about a trip.
Now at a heightened level of concern, they contacted Patti’s friend who had driven her to work on the afternoon of June 29. She revealed additional details that Patti had told her about her plans. Patti had said that the co-worker had told her that there would be no phone service where they were going, so her family should not expect to hear from her. He’d also told her that she should not bring anything, because they could buy everything they needed when they got there. Patti had confessed to her friend, however, that she didn’t completely follow those instructions. She did, indeed, pack a small duffel bag with, among other things, something blue (his favorite color) from Victoria’s Secret.
It also came to light that Patti had been told that she’d need to hide in the bed of his pick-up truck until he dropped his co-worker off at home.
Hearing these bizarre accounts, of course, sent red flags flying everywhere. The police were contacted.
Upon further investigation, it was found that Patti had loaned this co-worker tens of thousands of dollars, wiping out savings accounts, and dipping into her 401k. She was led to believe that this co-worker planned to leave his wife, and that he and Patti would then become a couple – but that he would need funds to buy out her share of the family business before he could leave her. The 401k loans Patti took out were due, and Patti had told her co-worker that he would need to start paying back the loans soon. This conversation took place only weeks before he mentioned the idea of going on a trip.
Upon confrontation by police, he claimed that he worked with Patti, barely knew her, and added that he’d floated her money for lunch a couple times. He and his wife both adamantly denied that there was any affair going on.
While police were at the residence speaking to him, they noticed a freshly poured area of concrete. It was dug up, but nothing was found.
They also discovered a new looking bed cover for his truck. It was found that he’d purchased this cover only days prior to the supposed trip. He explained to police that he purchased it to cover fishing equipment. Inspection of this cover revealed cat hair, and a tiny speck of blood. The cat hair was positively matched to Patti’s cat by her veterinarian. The speck of blood is still pending testing.
When asked about his whereabouts on the night in question, he explained that he and his male co-worker had left the plant, driven approximately 30 miles toward their home, and decided to stop at Burger King. He said they waited in line for 45 minutes, got their food, and then he dropped his buddy off and went home.
His wife stated that he had arrived home at approximately 2:30am, which is the usual time he would arrive home from work.
His commuting buddy backed up his statement, that they had gone to Burger King and waited 45 minutes.
The manager of Burger King told police that there was no way they waited 45 minutes, as they are never busy in the wee hours of the morning.
The married co-worker, whose name has not been officially released, has been named a person of interest by law enforcement.
I think the “waited 45 minutes at Burger King” statement is the most useful. If he did indeed harm her, I don’t think 45 minutes was a random number, but rather, the amount of time he needed to account for.
There are several possible scenarios, considering that we know the was in the truck, based on her cat’s hairs found on the newly purchased bed cover:
a) The co-worker left the Honda plant alone, with Patti waiting in the truck bed, and his buddy was asked to cover for him while they ‘hooked up’ by saying they’d been at Burger King.
b) His buddy was dropped off at home, with Patti still in the truck bed and covered for his friend by saying they went to Burger King.
c) The co-worker left the plant with his buddy, and with Patti hiding in the back, and both the co-worker and his buddy had a part in harming her.
d) She somehow suffocated while hiding in the covered bed, and he felt he couldn’t report it without admitting to the affair.
I don’t think c) is particularly plausible, as his buddy had no motive or reason to get involved in something like this, even though his statement that they waited at Burger King for 45 minutes was not considered to be truthful.
b) makes the most sense to me.
If scenario B were what actually happened, the timeline would have gone something like this:
12:00am: Patti clocks out and goes to his truck, and hides in the bed.
12:15am: Co-worker comes out with his buddy, they get in the truck and start driving.
1:00am: Buddy is dropped off and truck pulls away.
1:05am: Truck pulls over so Patti can get into the cab.
1:05am-2am: ???? (drives to someplace, act is committed)
2:30am: Co-worker arrives at his own home.
Based on this hypothetical scenario, I don’t think Patti would be more than 30 minutes away from his buddy’s home.
In all fairness, Patti’s co-worker has not been convicted of a crime, and he is innocent until proven guilty. So I’d like to explore a couple possible scenarios in which he is innocent.
It is worth noting, however, that every scenario I can think of that meet this criteria would be one in which he lied when he said there was no affair, and that no trip was planned. The theory of “I don’t know anything about a trip, I hardly know the girl” does not pan out, due to the loans, the cat hair in the truck, the fact that Patti herself had told multiple people about the relationship, the newly purchased bed cover being discovered after Patti had told others that she would be hiding in the bed…
It could be possible that a trip was planned, and that Patti hid in the bed while he took his buddy home, and somehow ended up suffocating. He could have discovered her after dropping off his friend, panicked, and buried her somewhere. I do not know exactly what type of cover it was, or if there would have been sufficient ventilation.
It could be possible that a trip was planned, and after Patti got into the cab, an argument ensued and Patti got out of the car.
I’m looking forward to the day when they can test the speck of blood found on the bed cover. It is apparently a speck similar to one that would be found with a squished mosquito, and therefore there is only one opportunity to test it without the dna being destroyed. So, they are waiting for further technology advances.
Patti’s duffel bag has not been found.