Remains of Accused Cop-Killer Found in Yard – (press release) (registration) (blog)

DARTMOUTH, Mass. — The human remains found Thursday in the backyard of a North Dartmouth home have been identified as Donald Eugene Webb, a suspect in the 1980 slaying of Saxonburg, Pa., Police Chief Gregory Adams.

The positive identification brings to a close the FBI’s search for one of the longest-tenured fugitives ever to appear on its “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives,” the country’s top law enforcement agency said.

The announcement was made jointly Friday afternoon by the FBI, Pennsylvania State Police, Saxonburg Borough Police Department, Massachusetts State Police, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and the Bristol County DA’s office.

Webb was added to the list on May 4, 1981, and removed on March 31, 2007. He was being sought in connection with Adams’ murder. He was also the only fugitive in the U.S. wanted for the murder of a police chief.

His remains were found buried in the back of the property located at 28 Maplecrest Drive. Investigators have learned that Webb died about 17 years ago in 1999, the FBI said. Webb once lived there.

Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for Bristol County DA Thomas M. Quinn III, said “it is believed” that Webb was buried shortly after his death.

The state medical examiner’s office performed an autopsy on the remains, and the U.S. Justice Department released a statement Friday, identifying them as Webb’s.

“The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Massachusetts positively identified the remains that were recovered by the Massachusetts State Police Crime Scene Services Section, with the assistance of the FBI and Pennsylvania State Police on July 13, 2017,” the Justice Department reported.

The medical examiner’s office is continuing to investigate to determine the cause of Webb’s death, Miliote said. “It doesn’t appear his death was the result of any violent act,” he said.


The remains were buried near a shed in the back left corner of the property belonging to Lillian Webb, the former wife of the fugitive Webb, Quinn said Thursday night.

Police were led to Webb’s body by Lillian Webb, who showed them where he was buried in her backyard. Prosecutors in both Massachusetts and Pennsylvania confirmed to The Associated Press on Friday that authorities have agreed not to prosecute Lillian Webb in the investigation.

On Dec. 31, 1980, a federal arrest warrant was issued for Webb after he was charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, and charged in Pennsylvania with first-degree murder for the Adams’ slaying, the FBI said.

He was suspected of killing Adams on Dec. 4, 1980, after Webb ran a stop sign in Saxonburg, Pa. The chief was shot twice at close range after being brutally beaten about the head and face with a blunt instrument.

Webb, then 49, was a jewelry thief from Massachusetts with connections to the New England mob. Police believe he was in Saxonburg, outside Pittsburgh, to case a jewelry store he planned to rob when Adams stopped his car, according to news reports.

Webb disappeared after the killing, but his car was found two weeks later in a parking lot in Warwick, R.I., The Associated Press said.

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