FBI Confirms Dartmouth Remains Are Those of Donald Webb
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Pennsylvania State Police, Saxonburg Borough Police Department, Massachusetts State Police, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, and the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts are announcing that the remains of long-time fugitive Donald Eugene Webb have been recovered.
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.
Mr. Webb’s remains were found buried in the back of the property located at 28 Maplecrest Drive in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts. Investigators have learned that Webb passed away approximately 17 years ago in 1999.
Webb was one of the longest-tenured fugitives ever to appear on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. He was added to the list on May 4, 1981 and removed on March 31, 2007. Webb was being sought in connection with the murder of Police Chief Gregory Adams of Saxonburg, Pennsylvania. He was also the only fugitive in the U.S. wanted for the murder of a police chief.
On December 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 slaying of Chief Adams.
The FBI has notified the family of Chief Adams of the discovery. The family requests that members of the media respect their need for privacy.
“For almost 37 years, the family of Chief Adams and the citizens of Saxonburg have been awaiting news of Donald Eugene Webb’s whereabouts. The FBI is grateful to have been able to play a role in helping to resolve this case. Although it’s unfortunate Mr. Webb will never be brought to justice to pay for his crimes, we’re hopeful the family can find some closure in knowing that this alleged murderer has been located,” said Harold H. Shaw, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston Division.
“The Pennsylvania State Police would like to thank the multiple federal, local, and state agencies that assisted in tracking down the final whereabouts of Donald Eugene Webb. Investigators never gave up hope that Webb would be located so that justice could be served for the family of Chief Adams almost 37 years later. Numerous investigators—including those retired for many years—have worked tirelessly and collaboratively over that span of time to make sure that Chief Adams’ family and the people of Saxonburg would see the day that Webb was located,” said Captain Steven J. Ignatz, commanding officer of Troop D, Butler.
State police detectives assigned to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s Office obtained a search warrant—as part of a separate investigation—that led to the discovery of Webb’s body on the property. The search warrant was executed by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General’s Office, the FBI, Bristol County District Attorney’s Office, Pennsylvania State Police, and other personnel assigned to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
“We are pleased to have assisted our law enforcement partners in bringing some much-needed closure to this case by uncovering information that led to the whereabouts of this fugitive,” Attorney General Maura Healey said. “Our office is committed to working with our state police officers, the FBI, Bristol County DA’s Office, and Pennsylvania State Police as this investigation continues—and we thank those involved for their hard work to resolve this matter.”
Saxonburg Police Chief Joseph Beachem added, “We're beyond proud of the efforts by the FBI, Pennsylvania State Police, and Massachusetts State Police in doggedly working to resolve this case. The biggest question in the history of Saxonburg has been answered. Our thoughts are with the family, and we hope this eases their minds, if even only slightly. While the hurt will continue, at least doubt about what happened that day has been eliminated.” The FBI was offering a reward up to $100,000 payable to any individual who could provide information about his whereabouts, dead or alive. However, that reward will not be paid out given that Mr. Webb’s location was determined through investigative efforts.
The FBI would like to thank the Pennsylvania State Police Department; the Saxonburg Police Department; Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s Office; Massachusetts State Police Colonel Richard D. McKeon; the MSP Crime Scene Services Section; and the offices of the District Attorney in Bristol County, Massachusetts, and Butler County, Pennsylvania for their assistance in this investigation.
As this remains an ongoing investigation, no additional information or comment will be provided at this time.