Holly Bobo was a 20-year-old nursing student on April 13, 2011, when she vanished from her home in Darden, Tennesse. Now, three years later, police have finally made an arrest and filed charges in the case. But the charges are not what the family and friends of Holly Bobo wanted to hear.
At a news conference Wednesday, an audible gasp went up in the audience when Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director Mark Gwyn announced that a suspect, 29-year-old Zachary Adams who when he was in fourth grade had Holly Bobo’s mother as a teacher, was charged with the felony murder of Holly Bobo.
The family had clung to the belief that she would be discovered alive somehow, but that hope was shattered Wednesday. However, the TBI did not say whether the body of Holly Bobo had been discovered.
Holly Bobo was last seen by her brother, Clint Bobo, being led into the woods by a man wearing camouflage gear that morning three years ago. Clint Bobo said he assumed at the time that the man was boyfriend of his sister’s.
In fact, authorities now believe that Holly Bobo was being kidnapped — and that in the course of that kidnapping, she was murdered. Authorities have not ruled out other arrests in the case.
Gwyn said that the TBI was guarding its information closely because the investigation into the murder of Holly Bobo is not finished yet.
“It’s taken us three years to get to this point,” the TBO director said. “We can’t mess it up now.”
Police searched Adams property, about 15 miles from where Bobo was last seen, on Friday, but they wouldn’t say what led them to suspect Adams in the Holly Bobo disappearance. But an investigation into the suspect’s history by a local TV station revealed that Zachary Adams has a disturbing past marked with incidents of violence against women.
He was arrested Friday not on charges connected to Holly Bobo, but in connection with allegations with accusations that on February 6, he assaulted a woman, holding a gun to her head, then brandishing a knife and telling her he was going to “gut” her.
In 2004, Adams shot his own mother in the leg with a 9 mm handgun. In 2011, three months after the disappearance of Holly Bobo, Zachary Adams was accused of beating, choking and threatening to shoot another woman.
While personal political views of the accused Holly Bobo killer are not yet known, Nashville’s News Channel 5 learned that he is an admirer of the book The Turner Diaries, a 1978 novel about a fictional United States civil war in which Jews, gays and African-Americans are slaughtered en masse by white revolutionaries. The book has long been a favorite of far right militia groups and white supremacists.
Prosecutors said they are considering whether to seek the death penalty for Zachary Adams in the abduction and murder of Holly Bobo.