Chattanooga woman murdered, arrest made 16 years later
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - Chattanooga Police say they've finally solved a cold case that's been eluding them for 16 years. An arrest has been made in the 1997 murder of a young mom, whose body was found stabbed to death in the woods.
Murder victim Vicrotia Carr Witherspoon Hollingsworth, known as Vicky by her loved ones, went missing in 1997. Two years later, she was found dead from a stab wound to the neck. No one was charged for her murder for 16 years, until this week.
Chattanooga investigators recently teamed up with the TNT show "Cold Justice" and used their forensic testing resources to help convince a Hamilton County Grand Jury to indict Vicky's estranged husband.
Vicky went missing from her parents Highland Park home August 16, 1997. She was last seen alive tucking her two young kids into bed the night before. In a 2010 interview, detectives told Channel 3 about the relationship between Vicky and her estranged husband, Adolphus Hollingsworth.
"Even though they were separated, she'd still take him to work at 5 o'clock in the morning. We have kind of conflicting statements, but one statement is that her car was headed down where Adolphus lived," Chattanooga Police Investigator Justin Kilgore told Channel 3 in a 2010 interview.
In 1999, Vicky's body was found in the woods on Billy Goat Hill in East Chattanooga, leaving her parents and two kids heartbroken, and without answers.
"They do say we need our momma. They say that and that hurts me very bad. It hurts me when they tell me that and they can't see her and I can't see her either," Vicky's late mother Theolester Witherspoon said in a 1997 Channel 3 interview.
Sadly, her mom has since passed away, but this week investigators told her children, dad and brother that they've arrested her killer.
"When you talked to Vicky's parents back then and you see the hurt and you see the kids growing up with no mother, those kinds of things, you look forward to the day you can go to them and go 'finally'," Chattanooga Police Sgt. Bill Phillips said.
Investigators say they finally have enough evidence to charge Vicky's estranged husband, Adolphus Hollingworth with first degree murder. The case went to a Hamilton County Grand Jury and an indictment was handed down Tuesday. Hollingsworth was arrested in Amarillo, Texas Wednesday.
Chattanooga Police say the TNT production "Cold Justice" contacted them about featuring the case. Local detectives say the show provided additional homicide investigators as well as forensic lab testing that would've taken CPD about a year to receive results on if they were on their own. They traveled the country for the last two weeks conducting interviews. They wouldn't give specifics on their findings because they're saving that for trial.
The episode will air in late February or early March.