Holly Bobo’s family asks for time to grieve

Flowers outside of the Decatur County Detention Center where a briefing was held about Holly Bobo. Photo by Max Smith.

The attorney for the family of Holly Bobo asked the media to respect the family’s “right to mourn privately” in a press conference at the Decatur County Detention Center in Decaturville, Tenn.

Three years after Bobo, a 20-year-old nursing student from Parsons, Tenn., disappeared, two men searching for ginseng found a skull Sunday afternoon six miles from the home of Zachary Adams, who was charged with Bobo’s kidnapping and murder in March.

Late Monday night, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation confirmed via dental records that the remains were Bobo’s.

“We know the media has a job to do,” said attorney Steve Farese, “and, in fact, y’all have been very helpful in publicizing Holly’s abduction. Now is a time for grieving.”

Many public officials and friends of the family referred to the discovery–in a location that had been repeatedly scoured for years–as an instance of “divine intervention.”

“I would love to take credit for doing something extraordinary,” said Sheriff Keith Byrd, who took office nine days ago, “but I didn’t. I was just a player.”

“God was on our side,” he said.

Byrd had been on Bobo’s case “since the first day,” participating in searches as a state wildlife officer for Decatur County, a position he held for 15 years before retiring to run for Sheriff.

He said that, following Bobo’s abduction, the community came closer, but also became less trusting.

“The day that Holly was abducted, we lost a lot of our innocence,” said Byrd. “that day we came to the reality that things like that can happen here.”

“People lock their doors at night more than they ever have,” said Byrd. “We’ll never be the same.”

He calls Tuesday’s announcement “bittersweet” news. The Parsons community was united in its hope that Bobo was still alive.

“We realized in March that wasn’t going to happen,” said Byrd.

“All of us wanted her to be alive,” said Decaturville resident Donna Gomez, “but it’s good [the Bobos] have found closure.”

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To contact news editors Daniel Jansouzian and Max Smith, email newseditor@mtsusidelines.com




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