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Man pleads not guilty to kidnapping, killing Holly Bobo

March 11, 2014|By Paresh Dave
  • Zachary Adams enters a courtroom in Decatur County Courthouse on Tuesday in Decaturville, Tenn. Adams pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping and murder in the 2011 disappearance of nursing student Holly Bobo, 20.
Zachary Adams enters a courtroom in Decatur County Courthouse on Tuesday… (Mark Humphrey / Associated…)

The man accused of kidnapping and murdering a 20-year-old Tennessee nursing student who had been missing for three years pleaded not guilty Tuesday.

Holly Lynn Bobo, whose body has not been found, was last seen on the morning of April 13, 2011. Her brother told authorities he saw her following a man in “camouflage” clothing into the woods in Darden, Tenn. She wore jeans and a pink top and clutched a pink purse, he said.

The brother, Clint Bobo, thought the man was his sister's boyfriend. Later, he found blood outside the family home and called 911.

Last month, authorities arrested Zachary Rye Adams, 29, on suspicion of threatening to shoot his girlfriend's sister. And last week, a Decatur County grand jury indicted him on charges of aggravated kidnapping and first-degree murder in the Bobo case. 

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has said “credible information” was received that led investigators to search Adams' home in Holladay, Tenn., about 15 miles from where Bobo vanished. It's not clear how long Adams has been a suspect in the case, nor when the information was received.

Adams has an extensive arrest history. He served six months in jail for shooting his mother in the knee and has convictions for drug possession, theft of more than $10,000 in hunting equipment and driving without a license. He was convicted of aggravated assault for threatening another woman in 2011. And in 2005, he was accused of threatening his grandparents with a gun, but records released by the state show the case was never prosecuted.

Adams, wearing blue overalls and a striped T-shirt, was represented in court Tuesday by attorney Jennifer Thompson. His mother, Cindy, told WSMV-TV in a statement last week that her “heart is broken” for Bobo’s mother, Karen.

"We will continue to cooperate with the TBI on their ongoing investigation,” Cindy Adams said. “I hope we all receive the facts and our questions are answered so we can begin to rebuild our lives after all this tragic loss. The community and our world lost a beautiful young lady. At this time our focus is on finding answers, truth and justice for Holly.”

Bobo's mother, Karen Bobo, reportedly was Adams’ fourth-grade teacher. She quit her job after her daughter's disappearance to help with the search.

The Bobo family also released a statement last week, saying, “It feels like everything has come against our hope and it seems that all our trust was shattered."

Adams, who is jailed without possibility of bail, is due back in court April 9. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

At least $460,000 in rewards have been offered for successful tips in the Bobo investigation, including from community members and the government.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has called the investigation “very active and ongoing.”

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