Holly Bobo, the missing nursing student who was last seen on April 13 of 2011, has still not been found, alive or dead — at least not that Tennessee police have revealed. But Zachary Thomas was charged with murder in the case of the missing 20-year-old woman and in a brief court appearance Tuesday, the 29-year-old suspect entered a plea of not guilty.
For a suspect to be charged with homicide in a case where the victim’s body has not been recovered is rare, but not unprecedented. It can happen when investigators have strong reasons or evidence to indicate that the missing victim is actually deceased.
Adams appeared in court Tuesday wearing a gray-striped baggy prison uniform — with a bullet proof vest protecting his upper body. On March 3, Adams was in court to face charges that he assaulted a woman in a case not related to the Holly Bobo disappearance.
At that time, he objected to having his picture taken by newspaper photographers, telling a reporter for The Jackson Sun, “I’m not the f******* one,” apparently in reference to whatever might have happened to Holly Bobo.
Bobo vanished from her home in Darden, Tennessee, almost three years ago, after her brother, Clint Bobo, saw a man dressed in camouflage apparently walking her into the woods behind the house.
Clint Bobo said he thought that his sister was with a boyfriend and he thought nothing of it at the time. But his sister never came home after that and Holly Bobo has been missing ever since.
Zachary Adams was once a fourth grade pupil in a class taught by Holly Bobo’s mother, Karen Bobo. Authorities have not said if that prior acquaintance from about two decades ago could have played any role in the alleged kidnapping and murder of Holly Bobo.
The suspect’s mother, said that her “heart is broken” for Karen Bobo.
“The community and our world lost a beautiful young lady,” said Adams’ mother. “At this time our focus is on finding answers, truth and justice for Holly.”
Though Zachary Adams was charged with the murder and kidnapping of Holly Bobo, detectives at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have not said whether they believe he acted alone, or if not, what specifically they believe his role to be in the disappearance and apparent death of Holly Bobo.