The 13th Floor

The Strange Unsolved Murder of Holly Bobo

The dog’s barks went right through him like a bullet. He shot up in bed, in a daze. Something was wrong. He peered out his window and spotted his sister, Holly, kneeling on the ground. A person wearing camouflage shorts—who looked like her boyfriend—was standing above her, talking continuously. Holly’s face was contorted and confused. She was upset. He couldn’t make out most of what they were saying except Holly saying, “No, why?”

Suddenly his phone rang—his mother calling to ask where Holly is. He tells her Holly’s outside with her boyfriend, but mom frantically exclaims that no, the man is not Holly’s boyfriend, and he needs to get his gun to shoot him. An instant later, her brother watches as Holly is dragged into the woods—the last time he would ever see her alive.

The bizarre event played out in the early hours of April 13, 2011 in Parsons, Tennessee. Holly, a 20-year-old nursing student, was on her way to school to take an exam. The blonde-haired, blue-eyed all American girl was approached by someone just before she made it to her car, and whatever happened between them in those brief moments was terrifying enough to make her let out a scream heard by a neighbor.

The neighbor heard the female screams and called Holly’s mother, Karen. Karen was immediately concerned and phoned her son, Clint, to see what was going on at home. Clint told her about Holly and her boyfriend fighting in the driveway, but she knew it wasn’t Holly’s boyfriend. Holly’s boyfriend was on a hunting trip with friends.

Mother’s intuition told Karen that whoever was standing with her daughter was someone bad. A gut feeling told her that her daughter was in danger. After telling her son to get his gun, she called 911 for help. Simultaneously, Clint went outside and made a grisly discovery.

A pool of blood was curdling on the pavement beside Holly’s car.

A search was done for the missing college student, but nothing was found. Who was the mysterious person talking with Holly in the driveway? Where did he take her? And more importantly, was she still alive?

The blood would indicate that Holly was hurt, but there were no other leads in the case. Holly had no known enemies plotting against her, and she was well liked by just about everyone in her life. She was a good student who never got into trouble—why was this happening to her?

Extensive searches were done throughout the community. They searched creeks and heavily-wooded areas, and found nothing but a lunchbox that led to nowhere. Then, a purse was discovered sending hope that police were getting closer to finding the missing girl. Alas, the purse didn’t belong to Holly.

The case went nowhere for 3 years. Then, the authorities narrowed in on a possible suspect in the case: Zachary Adams. Adams was known around town for his issues with drugs, and a history of violence. He lived 15 miles away from Holly’s home, and police believed he was involved in her disappearance.

Suspect Zachary Adams

Adams’ brother Dylan—who is mentally challenged—confessed to police that he saw Holly with his brother and his brother’s friend Jason Audry on the morning she disappeared. Dylan insisted his brother told him he raped Holly—a confession he would later try to recant.

Soon, Zach’s friend Shayne Austin is roped into the crime because he spoke with Zach several times on the phone the day of Holly’s disappearance. All of them are arrested for kidnapping and murder, despite there not being any real, physical evidence against them.

Then more people are accused of involvement in Holly’s disappearance: Jeff and Mark Pearcy. A female roommate claimed that Jeff showed her a video of Holly tied up and crying, before being sexually assaulted. The pair were arrested, despite the police’s inability to find an actual video.

While the police were building their case, two farmers stumbled upon skeletal remains buried in their yard. The body was later proven to be Holly Bobo. Investigators in the case said that Holly had been tortured, raped, and murdered, but they haven’t revealed how she was murdered.

Throughout the entire case—from the moment Holly went missing, to the arrests of multiple suspects, to the discovery of her remains—police have remained tight-lipped about the details. They have never given reasons for why they focused in on their suspects, and they haven’t even handed over the evidence they say they have against them. No actual evidence has been revealed to the public.

While the evidence remains a secret, the case is heavily scrutinized over how it was handled by police. Some believe the suspects are innocent and arrested simply for their shady pasts. One suspect committed suicide, and another claimed he was coerced into confessing.

Everything will soon be revealed as the case prepares to go on trial. The charges against Mark and Jeff Pearcy were eventually dropped due to lack of evidence. Now, 2 suspects are set to stand trial for the kidnapping, rape, and murder of Holly Bobo tentatively in April 2017: Zach Adams and Dylan Adams. Third suspect Jason Autry recently announced that he will be taking a plea deal to avoid a trial. The suspects face the death penalty if convicted.

So, did the three men really kill the nursing student that day, or are they victims of a witch hunt? We may never know the truth, but we may learn horrifying details of how a normal day for Holly Bobo turned into a nightmare.