A more than 30 year search for a fugitive charged in the 1980 killing of a Pennsylvania police chief came to an end Friday as authorities positively identified remains found buried in a Massachusetts yard as the man they have long suspected in the fatal shooting.
Donald Eugene Webb was one of the longest-tenured fugitives on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list, appearing there from 1981 to 2007. Authorities believe Webb shot and killed Saxonburg police Chief Gregory Adams in December 1980 after Adams pulled him over for running a stop sign.
Chief Adams was not wearing his ballistic vest that night because he had loaned it to another officer to wear.
Webb disappeared after the killing, but his car was found two weeks later in a parking lot in Warwick, Rhode Island.
NBC News reports that police were led to Webb’s body Thursday by his ex-wife, Lillian, who showed them where he was buried in her back yard in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. 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.
The FBI said investigators believe Webb died about 17 years ago. Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts said Webb’s cause of death has not yet been determined, but it “does not appear his death was the result of a violent act.”
The police chief’s widow, Mary Ann Jones, said she is livid that Lillian Webb kept her ex-husband’s whereabouts hidden for years, as Jones and her two sons struggled with their loss and the thought that the killer was still at large.
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