MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Human remains discovered in a rural Tennessee county are those of a missing nursing student who disappeared from her home in April 2011, investigators said late Monday.
The remains of Holly Bobo were found Sunday in Decatur County, not far from her home in the town of Parsons, about 110 miles east of Memphis, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director Mark Gwyn told a news conference.
Bobo was 20 when she disappeared. Her brother told police he saw a man dressed in camouflage leading her away into the woods. Investigators and volunteers scoured the woods and fields of the town of about 2,400 for clues, but her remains were not immediately found.
Gwyn has said the Bobo investigation has been the most expensive and exhaustive in TBI history, and is not over yet.
Since Bobo disappeared, the small town of Parsons and surrounding areas in West Tennessee tried to support the family, putting up pink ribbons on lamp posts, mailboxes and storefronts. Bobo was wearing a pink shirt and carrying a pink purse before she disappeared.
Two men found a skull Sunday not far from property owned by the family of Zachary Adams, who has been charged with Bobo’s kidnapping and murder. He has pleaded not guilty. The area near his family’s property was searched in March.
A second man facing murder and kidnapping charges, Jason Autry, also has pleaded not guilty.
Recently elected District Attorney Matt Stowe said his office was preparing to seek a possible death penalty in the case. A decision is expected in coming weeks, after he consults with the Bobo family, he said.
“The evidence is voluminous,” Stowe said. “We are going to make sure that everyone who played a part in the heinous crime that has attacked the peace and dignity of the state of Tennessee faces a consequence for that.”
Stowe said the Bobo family would be issuing a statement Tuesday.
Before the news conference Monday, the Bobo family was trying to remain calm and let authorities do their job, said their attorney, Steve Farese.
“You can imagine the emotional roller coaster that they’ve been on,” Farese said.
Two brothers, Jeffrey Kurt Pearcy and Mark Pearcy, also face charges of tampering with evidence and accessory after the fact in the case. Both men have said they are not guilty.