Quote TruthDetective: Here goes:
Adam's DNA double, Mr Hightower,
How does one get a DNA double? Not even identical twins have exavtly the same DNA. I knew Adam couldn't die yet; like Sheila, he's too valuable a villain. Heroes are a dime a dozen, but a really good bads guy is priceless
is at the Masquerade Ball. In fact, Phyllis thought he was Adam and attacked him. He's wearing Adam's identical costume, if you noticed. What a coincidence! He's lured to the basement by Adam, but before he strikes, psycho Pattycakes kills him thinking it's Adam behind the mask. So Adam won't actually be the murderer, but looney Patty is. Adam finds the body, he may plant evidence that it's him, then Adam flees.
Of course, some of this action won't be seen right now, but will be revealed at a later date.
In the meantime, Nick and the rest of the Genoa City Parade of Doofuses search the basement. The leak is discovered, everybody runs, the builing blows, and Hightower's body burns beyond recognition. The DNA test is run and it's a match for Adam.
Additional tests are made on the body that indicate Adam/Hightower was murdered. Then the ongoing murder suspects are questioned, evidendence is uncovered indicating an innocent person is guilty and the trial begins, just in time for the "new Heather"!
Eventually, we'll see a newspaper headline about the trial being read by an unknown person. The camera will pan up to the face reading the newspaper or computer screen and it will be Adam with a smile on his face. Someday, Adam will return and he'll get a slap on the wrist for his deeds. In the meantime, Adam will accumulate vast wealth on his own to rival his father. After all, he graduated #2 in his class at Harvard Business School. Perhaps Adam will attempt a hostile take over of Newman Enterprises on his own. Now that would be great! LOL.......I'm just sayin'.
I agree that it's a fake Adam. Everything else you wrote is plausible and possible. I was hoping Tucker would have been the one to initiate a takeover, but Adam would be better.