Possible human remains recovered in search for fugitive

Authorities carry lighting equipment to the backyard of the home of Lillian Webb, wife of fugitive Donald Eugene Webb, in Dartmouth, Mass., Thursday, July 13, 2017. Authorities began a dig at the home Thursday hoping to find evidence in their decadeslong quest to find the man wanted in the slaying of a Pennsylvania police chief in 1980. (Mike Valeri/Standard Times via AP)

BOSTON (AP) — Authorities searching for evidence in a decadeslong quest to find the man wanted in the slaying of a Pennsylvania police chief in 1980 have recovered what they believe to be human remains in Massachusetts.

The FBI said in a statement late Thursday that they are in the process of determining if the remains belong to fugitive Donald Eugene Webb.

The FBI and state police from Massachusetts and Pennsylvania gathered Thursday at the Dartmouth home of Webb’s wife and began a dig in the yard.

Police said Webb shot Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, police Chief Greg Adams during a traffic stop. Webb was a career criminal living in New Bedford, Massachusetts, at the time. He disappeared after the shooting. His rental car was found more than two weeks later at a motel in Warwick, Rhode Island.

Kristen Setera, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Boston division, said “until positive identification has been made, no further comment will be made at this time.”

The FBI has offered $100,000 for information leading to Webb’s capture or his remains. Webb would be in his 80s now, if he is still alive.

Last month, the widow of the slain police chief sued Webb’s wife, saying investigators had recently found a hidden room in her Massachusetts home where Webb may have hidden from authorities a decade or more after the shooting.

The filing named Webb’s wife, Lillian, and her son, Stanley. The filing signaled an intention to file a detailed complaint on behalf of Mary Ann Jones, 64, Adams’ widow, and their two sons on grounds of wrongful death-murder and two civil conspiracy claims — accessory after the fact and hindering apprehension of a murderer.

Jones said FBI agents told her that Webb may have hidden out in the home in short stints in the 1990s. A cane was found in the room.

Investigators believe Adams shot Webb in the leg before he sped away from the deadly traffic stop Dec. 4, 1980.

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