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Report: Holly Bobo's mom taught daughter's alleged killer

Zachary Adams CBS affiliate WTVF

Authorities have not shed much light on how they connected Zachary Adams to the kidnapping and murder of long-missing Tennessee nursing student Holly Bobo, but a new report suggests that the families may have crossed paths years ago.

According to CBS affiliate WTVF, Adams' mother claims that Bobo's mother, Karen, was her son's elementary school teacher.

The 29-year-old Adams was charged Wednesday with especially aggravated kidnapping and first-degree felony murder. He is being held at the Chester County Jail without bond.

Adams was initially arrested on Feb. 28 on an unrelated assault charge as his home was searched in connection with the Bobo case. In the unrelated case he is accused of holding a gun to a woman's head at his home on Feb. 6 and threatening to "gut" her with a knife, reports WTVF.

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Holly Bobo
CBS affiliate WTVF

The Decatur County Board of Education declined to comment on whether Karen Bobo ever had Adams as a student, but did confirm that Bobo taught in Decatur County, where Adams grew up.

According to a woman who answered the phone at Scotts Hill Elementary School in Scotts Hill, Tenn., Karen Bobo has been employed there for 27 years.

According to WTVF, Cindy Adams said her son Zachary and Holly Bobo, who was 20 years old when she disappeared, did not run in the same circles.

Following her son's arrest Friday in the unrelated case, Cindy Adams told Fox affiliate WZTV her son is "one of the sweetest people" but "got mixed up with drugs at an early age." She also told the station her other son, Dylan, has been behind bars since July and that authorities had questioned him in connection with the Bobo investigation following Zachary's arrest.

"I am not saying that either one of them is innocent, I am just saying that as their mother, I am going to believe my children until proven otherwise," she told the station.

Bobo disappeared from her home in Parsons, Tenn., about 110 miles southwest of Nashville, in April 2011. Her brother told police he saw a man in camoflauge leading her into the woods surrounding the family home.

Investigators would not comment on what led to the charges against Adams, but at least two vehicles were reportedly towed away from his property last week and a cadaver dog was brought in to aid in the search. Officials would not say whether Bobo's body has been located.

Adams' property in Decatur County is about 15 miles from Bobo's home.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director Mark Gwyn said Wednesday in announcing the charges against Zachary Adams that the investigation is ongoing and officials have not ruled out other arrests and indictments. Gwyn asked anyone with information in the case to come forward.

District Attorney General Hansel McCadams said the case against Adams is being evaluated as a death penalty-eligible case.


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    Stephanie Slifer covers crime and justice for CBSNews.com.

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