PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s one of the most talked about cold cases in Rhode Island history. Did convicted killer Adam Emery and his wife Elena jump off the Newport bridge on November 10, 1993, after he was found guilty of second-degree murder?
Eyewitness Anchor Mike Montecalvo sat down with the victim’s family, who continue to seek closure.
Is Adam dead or alive?
Col. Steven O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police, said, “we don’t know because we don’t have his body. We can prove that his wife did [jump].”
Elena’s remains were found in Narragansett Bay less than a year later – but no sign of Adam has even been uncovered.
Just hours after disappearing, Adam Emery was convicted of second-degree murder in a road rage incident.
In August 1990, Adam and his wife were having dinner at a seafood stand when their car was sideswiped by another vehicle. According to prosecutors, Adam was enraged and chased the wrong car driven by 20-year-old Jason Bass.
Emery grabbed onto Bass’ car and stabbed the innocent man to death.
A jury didn’t buy Adam’s claim that he stabbed Bass in self-defense. In a controversial move, Emery was allowed to remain free on bail until a formal sentencing. Hours later, he and his wife were spotted at a fast food restaurant and buying diving weights at a local sporting goods store. The couple then disappeared – their car found on the Newport Bridge.
“You bought weights to weigh yourself down, the weights should be on your body if you’re bent on killing yourself – why weren’t they strapped to you?” Colonel O’Donnell questioned.
In 2004, a judge declared Adam Emery deceased but six years later, he was back on America’s Most Wanted List with a warrant for his arrest.
“In this particular case, what resonated well after talking to you was we don’t know if this person is dead. We’ve had leads in the past but I also remember Whitey Bulger vividly,” O’Donnell said. “There were a lot of people that thought he was dead. Fifteen years later – you find him.”
Jason Bass’ brother Ray believes Adam is out there somewhere. He said despite it being more than a quarter of a century later, the pain of his brother’s murder still runs deep.
Bass said it’s a lot of baggage to carry around for 26 years. He wants closure for his parents and their entire family.
Cynthia Bass was only nine when her uncle Jason was killed. She remembers him as a giving person but also remembers the anger and pain that her family has dealt with all these years. She said the family wants closure and they want to know if he truly is dead or alive.
Colonel O’Donnell said the State Police and FBI are now working on an age-enhanced picture of Adam Emery for the first time – much like the one used in the Whitey Bulger case.
“If anything else, it opened my eyes and [I] understand the pain and frustration – and they remember specifics the day that happened,” O’Donnell said. “So if we can do our part to get some closure than it’s incumbent on our part to get them some closure.”
Colonel O’Donnell said that after reading this case file, he is now hoping the State Police will reach out to more families affected by tragic incidents like this one in hopes of bringing them some closure.