DECATURVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A grand jury indicted a second person Tuesday on murder and kidnapping charges in the disappearance of 20-year-old nursing student Holly Bobo three years ago.
Jason Autry, 39, was indicted by a special grand jury on charges of first-degree murder and especially aggravated kidnapping.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director Mark Gwyn said at a Tuesday news conference in Decaturville that authorities have not found Bobo’s body. However, he said they have sworn statements from witnesses who saw Bobo alive with Autry and Zachary Adams after Bobo disappeared from her home near Parsons in Decatur County on April 13, 2011.
Adams was indicted in March on the same charges that Autry now faces, and is currently being held without bond in the Chester County Jail.
Autry is currently serving a three-year sentence in Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in a separate case.
Gwyn said Adams and Autry were longtime friends. He declined to say whether there was any previous connection between Bobo and Autry.
District Attorney General Hansel McCadams said prosecutors could seek the death penalty in both cases.
Gwyn hinted that still others could be charged in the case.
“We believe there are other individuals out there with information about possible involvement,” he said. “They can expect a knock at their door soon.”
Bobo family friend Tammy Ramey attended the news conference wearing a “Justice for Holly” T-shirt and spoke afterward with reporters. She said she was not surprised to hear that Autry was charged because rumors that he was involved have been going around town ever since Bobo disappeared.
Ramey said she did not know Autry personally but has read about him in the newspaper.
She said she was encouraged to hear from Gwyn that they are still investigating other people as well.
“We want all that’s involved,” she said.
The family’s pastor, Don Franks, also spoke with reporters after the news conference. He said he was with Bobo’s parents earlier in the day when they were informed of the new charges.
“It’s tough. And as more facts are revealed it gets even tougher,” he said. But he added, “They are more determined than ever to have justice for Holly.”
Gwyn also said that the grand jury on Tuesday indicted Adams on an additional charge of coercing a witness.
An affidavit of a TBI agent filed earlier this month with the Decatur General Sessions Court says Adams told another inmate to relay a message to his brother to keep quiet.
Adams said “tell my brother he is the one who started this … and if he doesn’t shut his mouth he will be in the hole beside her,” the affidavit states.
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