Crime

FBI offers $20K reward for information leading to arrest in 1981 murder

“Someone out there knows where Andrew Dabbs is, and we’re asking you to contact us.”

Andrew P. Dabbs

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Massachusetts law enforcement agencies are offering up to $20,000 for information leading to the location, arrest, and prosecution of a longtime fugitive wanted for allegedly murdering his girlfriend 40 years ago.

Andrew P. Dabbs, also known as Peter Dabbs, is suspected of murdering Robin A. Shea in New Bedford on Oct. 10, 1981. The FBI’s Boston office, along with Massachusetts State Police and Norton police, are seeking information about Dabbs’s current whereabouts.

Dabbs is considered armed and dangerous.

“Someone out there knows where Andrew Dabbs is, and we’re asking you to contact us,” Joseph Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI in Boston, said in a statement.

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“We are in the final stages of this investigation and we’re doing everything we can bring him to justice and provide some much-needed closure to Robin’s family who has already endured enough heartache.”

Authorities said Dabbs and Shea were driving through Norton, about 40 miles north of New Bedford, when Dabbs allegedly shot Shea in the chest with a .45 caliber revolver and pushed her out of the vehicle onto the side of Route 123. Her body was later found by a passing motorist.

Nearly two months later, Dabbs was indicted on Nov. 3, 1981, in Bristol County Superior Court in New Bedford. A state warrant was issued for his arrest, followed in September 1982 by a federal arrest warrant after federal officials said he was charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Dabbs was described by authorities as a 78-year-old Black man with a mole on the right side of his nose, a scar on his arm, and skin grafts on his leg from a burn. He was 5-feet-10 and about 180 pounds at the time of the murder. His last known address was in Derry, New Hampshire, but he has ties to Massachusetts, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, New York, and Pennsylvania, the FBI said.

Shea’s sister, Joyce Carter, said her family continues to seek justice as well as closure.

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“The reality is that this is really unfinished, it’s unfinished in the sense that I’m talking about it and he’s out there somewhere,” she said in a statement. “Maybe he’s dead, and if he is, I would love to know that, I would love to know more of that detail, and if he isn’t dead, if he’s alive, he needs to pay for what he did.”

The public is asked to review Dabbs’s wanted poster which includes an age-progressed photo, depicting what he may look like at age 78.

Anyone with information should call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324). Tips can also be electronically submitted at tips.fbi.gov.

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