Missing nursing student Holly Bobo is feared dead, investigators said, and announced yesterday that murder and aggravated kidnapping charges have been brought against a Nashville man thought connected to her disappearance.
According to ABC News on Wednesday, 29-year-old Zachary Rye Adams is being held without bond in connection with Bobo’s disappearance – now thought of as a murder investigation. Holly was last seen back in April of 2011.
Tennessee's Federal Bureau of Investigation director Mark Gwyn said on Wednesday: “We feel she was killed in the perpetration of the kidnapping, thus we have a charge of felony murder.”
Bobo’s brother told authorities at the time of her abduction that he witnessed a man in hunting clothes dragging his sister into the woods around the family home near Parsons, about 100 miles northeast of Memphis. That man is now thought to be Adams.
Adams' home in the Holladay community is only about 15 miles from where Bobo lived. His home was searched this week, and although Gwyn would not comment on any evidence that may have been found, did say: “We believe we can prove that she was taken forcefully from her home without her consent.”
Adams is in custody without bail. Gwyn said the investigation is ongoing, and other arrests may be forthcoming.
The FBI spoke with Bobo’s family and advised them of the arrest before the information was released to the media.
“Obviously, they're devastated,” Gwyn said.
District Attorney General Hansel McCadams echoed Gwyn’s statement. “Based on the evidence that we have before us, we also feel that she was killed in the perpetration of that kidnapping,” McAdams said, adding that he will pursue the death penalty if Adams is convicted.
According to the CS Monitor, the news brings mixed emotions to a community that searched long and hard for Holly.
“After Bobo's disappearance, investigators and volunteers scoured the town of about 2,400 people and the surrounding terrain where cow pastures, old barns, thick woods, flowery fields and dusty back roads comprise the landscape. Residents adorned mailboxes, lamp posts and store fronts with pink bows, as a sign of hope and solidarity with the family. Pink became the color associated with Bobo because she was wearing a pink shirt and carrying a pink purse when she disappeared.” – CS Monitor.
"I have really mixed emotions," said Bobo’s friend Kelly Allen, who still was clinging to hope that Holly would be found alive. "I'm mad, I'm upset, I'm grieving for the family and friends and the whole community."