A few years ago an article appeared on bigcountryhomepage.com.  A man from Abilene named Howard Adams was still searching for his son after 30 years.  The article wasn’t long, just a small paragraph the obvious result of an interview with Mr. Adams.  In the article is said that Howard Adams was still hopeful that he would see his son again one day.  Even though his son went missing 30 years ago (longer than that now) he still had hope that he was out there, somewhere, and that he might still get to see him again.  If you’re not a parent and you read that it may be hard to understand how someone can hang on to hope for that long but if you have children, you know there really isn’t any other option.

Screenshot of Michael J. Adams

Tawny the Rock Chick here, your resident true crime aficionado.  As interesting as I find true crime from all over to be, it’s the local stuff that I can really dig into.  You could say I’m a bit obsessed with researching stories of murder and missing persons from this area.  I’ve spent countless hours reading old newspapers articles, requesting files on cases and sifting through data cases online regarding homicide cases that you probably didn’t even know existed.  This area holds more sordid secrets than you may know and I’m going to tell you about all of them, one day at a time.  It’s 365 Days of Texas True Crime and todays story goes like this…..

Screenshot of Michael J Adams

Michael Adams was a good kid.  He was 18 years old and working at an Abilene grocery store, M-System Food Store, at 12th and Mockingbird Street, he had been there for over two years.  He had graduated from Cooper High School that year, was a drummer in the marching band, and was to be heading to Texas Tech in the fall, likely taking classes in Architecture.  A few days before he went missing a fellow employee noticed that he was unusually uneasy as they closed up the store together.  She noticed Michael had a grabbed a bat as they were locking the doors of the store.  Michael was a well liked employee but kept somewhat to himself, however he and the security guard (who would later go on to be sheriff of a nearby town) were good friends.

Screenshot of Michael J Adams

On June 7th, Michael is sent home around 1 p.m. by his boss to change clothes.  Michael is frustrated and thinking of quitting, he says his boss treats the employees badly and causes low morale but his dad gives him some advice that rings a cord and Michael ends up going back to work.  Howard, Michael’s dad, tells him what so many other dads have told a young adult ready to quit a job in a huff…just hang in there.

Screenshot of Michael J Adams Band photo

On one night Michael see’s someone taking supplies from the back room of the store.  When he tells the manager about what he saw he is met with reprimand from his boss for being in the back room when he shouldn’t have been.  Not the response anyone would have expected after reporting what was likely theft.

Screenshot of Michael J Adams

On the night he went missing Michael had come to a co-worker, Chito Alardin, saying there were some guys in the parking lot causing trouble and he needed some help.  Chito, always quick to make sure everyone was safe at work, was more than happy to clear out some hooligans (my term not his, cause it’s fun to say hooligans…..go on, say it……fun right?).  Anyway, Michael and Chito head to the front of the store to check the parking lot but the culprits are gone, leaving Chito plenty of room to tease his friend about imaginary trouble causers.  That night Michael closed the store and he and Chito headed to their cars together.  The two lived close to each other so as Michael followed Chito toward their homes he decided to pull up next to Chito and have a little fun by revving up his engine as if to instigate a race.  About a block before the two parted ways they stopped next to each other, windows down, with Michael laughing in the drivers seat Chito told him he would see him tomorrow at work and Michael said ok before they continued on to their homes.  As Chito watched Michael go on ahead he noted that there were no other vehicles on the road at the time as far as he could see.

Screenshot of Michael J Adams

As Michael pulls into his drive way, the lights from his vehicle shine in his step-sisters bedroom window and wakes her up.  Not long after Michael’s set of headlights show up outside she notices the lights of another car as it pulls in the same way Michael did.  On this night, according to police reports, there were sightings of a suspicious vehicle in the neighborhood not long before Michael arrived home on June 8th, 1987.  Witnesses recalled specifically that the vehicle lurking around had an electronic short in the headlights, causing the front lights to flicker noticeably as it was driving down the road.  Beverly, Michael’s step-sister, says she was waiting for her step-brother to head in the house and when he didn’t she peeked out the window to see what he was doing.  Beverly says she saw Michael leaning against the car window of a vehicle parked next to him in the drive way, talking to someone in the car she didn’t recognize.  Forensic Hypnotism was big back then and later during one such session with police, Beverly says the vehicle might have been a late 70’s Cutlass or Monte Carlo…which happened to be similar to the kind of car that Chito was driving, who was cleared during the investigation, so she might have just ben making familiar connections, but who knows.

Screenshot of Michael J Adams

Thinking this was just a friend of Michaels and not seeing anything out of the usual going on she went back to bed.  The next morning Michaels car is parked blocking his step mother, not in his usual spot, and Michael is no where to be found.  His Father and his step mother search his room and find his wallet, likely dropped from when he was sent home to change his clothes the day before, 180$ on his headboard.  He also had a pay check waiting for him at work so it was unlikely he would have just left without his wallet, money and car.

Chito claims the night Michael went missing there was a 6 pack of hot beer in a cooler in Michael’s trunk that he offered him to which he declined.  This stood out to Chito because he says it was normally he who would invite Michael for a drink and Michael doing the declining.  He says he didn’t know Michael to be a drinker at all.  This part of the story isn’t something investigators can be sure of considering a search of the vehicle found no evidence of there having been a cooler with beer in it, however it wouldn’t seem to benefit Chito in anyway to lie about something so small.

Michael’s father says that his son was known as being anti-drugs and at the time there was a big drug bust going on at school.  He thinks it might be possible that some of the kids, who thought Michael to have been a narc, grabbed him thinking he was involved in the bust and got rid of him in revenge.

Then again it could be possible that Michael had witnessed something at the grocery store that he shouldn’t have.

Whatever the cause, Michael Adams remains missing to this day with investigators no closer to finding out what happened to him today as they were over 30 years ago.

Michael Jefferson Adams went missing at the age of 18.  He was three weeks away from moving to Lubbock for school when he went missing.  At the time of his disappearance he was between 6’ and 6’2” tall, weighed between 145 and 155 lbs, had blonde hair and blue eyes.  He wore contact lenses and the night he disappeared he was wearing a white long sleeved dress shirt, black pants, black socks, and black shoes.  Michael would be about 52 years old if he were alive today.

If you have any information about the disappearance of Michael Jefferson Adams please contact the Abilene police department at 325-673-8331.

Below is an age progression photo of what Michael would possibly look like as an adult.

Screenshot of age progression image of Michael J Adams