Holly Bobo's Family Suspected Her Kidnapper Lived Nearby
By Elisha Fieldstadt, NBC News
The man charged with kidnapping and
murdering 20-year-old nursing student Holly Bobo in 2011 lived 15 miles
away from the Tennessee home that he snatched his victim from —
appearing to confirm suspicions the family had at the time of her
disappearance that her abductor lived nearby.
Zachary Rye Adams, 29, was charged Wednesday
by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) with "especially
aggravated" kidnapping and first-degree felony murder of Holly Bobo, who
vanished from her house in West Tennessee on April 13, 2011. He will be
arraigned on Tuesday.
The TBI "had enough credible information" to search Adams' Holladay, Tenn., property, said TBI Executive Officer Illana Tate.
The investigation and following indictment were the first solid indications that Bobo was believed to be dead.
When the young woman was abducted
three years ago, mystery shrouded the search for the shy nursing
student. But Holly's family had suspicions that her kidnapper may be
someone who lived in the tiny, "safe" area all along.
think the person definitely had Holly targeted," said Holly Bobo's
brother, Clint, in a 2011 interview with NBC News, just four and a half
months after Holly's disappearance.
search of Adams' property included a cadaver dog and a Bobcat excavator
and focused on a pond and abandoned house nearby, according to NBC
The TBI did not release
the types of evidence they found tying Adams to the crime, or whether
they discovered remains. But the address that Tate disclosed as the spot
where investigators searched is 15 miles away from the Bobos' home in
Even from the
beginning of the investigation, Holly's family suspected she was
kidnapped by someone within the town who knew the area — and the
"I believe that
they spent some time in the area … I think they spent some time
plotting it out," said Clint Bobo, in 2011, of the person wearing
camouflage who he saw leading his sister into the woods the morning she
Clint, his mother, Karen and Holly's
cousin, country music star Whitney Duncan, each described the small
town of Parsons in Decatur County, as a community where residents didn't
lock their car doors or the doors to their homes.
"This is the ideal place to grow up. You grow up feeling super-safe," Duncan said in 2011.
But Clint Bobo
acknowledged the sense of security might have been detrimental. "I would
say that we did live in some type of bubble. We trusted everyone," he
That feeling of trust quickly dissipated after Holly disappeared.
on, it's like we looked at everybody, ‘was it you, was it you,'" said
Holly's mother Karen. "Evidently there's someone out there that we did
The Bobo family lived
in such a secluded area that when Duncan got the call that her cousin
was missing, she said she had trouble finding the house, even though she
had been there many times. "Because of the circumstances, it definitely
feels like it could be someone in the community," Duncan said in 2011.
Although Duncan expressed she had
trouble believing someone in the "ideal" town where everyone knew one
another would take Holly, she recognized then, "of course, along with
the good, there is the bad. I feel like, quite a bit of drugs here as
Adams was originally
flagged by the TBI when he was arrested on unrelated possession of
methamphetamine and assault charges, Tate said. Adams has a history of violence and was arrested numerous times but always walked free after little or no time in jail.
This time, District Attorney General Hansel McCadams said he will seek the death penalty if Adams is convicted.
miss spending time together on the weekends," said Clint Bobo, in 2011,
of days spent with his sister hunting and riding in the fields on
four-wheelers. "I wish she would return right now."
"I'm not losing hope," said Duncan at the time.
on Wednesday when Adams was charged with Holly's murder, her family
faced the heartbreaking reality that Holly would not be coming home.
the recent days, it feels like everything has come against our hope and
it seems that all our trust was shattered," the Bobo family said in a
statement Thursday. "Jesus will provide us the strength and grace to see
us through," the family added.