Suspect in Holly Bobo Murder Case Commits Suicide
Bobo, a 20-year-old nursing student from Darden, Tenn., disappeared from her family's home on April 13, 2011. More than three years after her disappearance, her remains were discovered in the woods by two men looking for ginseng; test results confirmed that the remains were, in fact, Bobo.
Two men have been charged in the case thus far: Zachary Adams was charged with first degree felony murder and especially aggravated kidnapping, and a second suspect, Jason Wayne Autry, was charged with especially aggravated kidnapping and first-degree felony murder.
Austin had not been indicted and, due to his agreement to testify against Autry and Adams, was originally offered immunity in March 2014, one week after Adams was indicted. However, the offer was later revoked, as the district attorney attained that Austin was not being cooperative or truthful in his testimony. He committed suicide out of state.
"Obviously a tragic loss for the Austin family, and they are besides themselves with grief," Luke Evans, Austin's attorney, says. "It's unfortunate the government came in and made allegations without basis. People had to live with those allegations ... under the cloud of those allegations.
"Mr. Austin's position was that he was immune not just from being convicted of a crime, but charged with a crime," Evans adds. "He's maintained this from the beginning, that he had nothing to do with the tragic circumstances that befell Ms. Bobo."
In addition to the charges, Adams’ younger brother, Dylan Adams, was arrested and charged in September for tampering with evidence in the Bobo case. Brothers Jeffrey and Mark Pearcy were also arrested in May and charged with tampering with evidence and accessory after the fact. A friend of Jeffrey Pearcy's told authorities that he showed her a video of Bobo tied up and crying.
On her Facebook page, Duncan shared the news of Austin's death, giving her condolences to the family and noting that she and Austin were in the same third grade class. However, Duncan makes it clear in her statement that she believes Austin contributed to her dear cousin's death.
"Now he's finding out just how hot Hell is," she writes. "Personally, I'm glad he can't take another innocent life."