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Holly Bobo trial: Investigator testifies blood in garage was slain woman's

SAVANNAH, Tenn. -- Blood collected from a carport at the home of a slain Tennessee nursing student matched the woman's DNA, a crime scene investigator said Tuesday.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Lawrence James testified on the second day of Zachary Adams's trial in Savannah. Adams has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping, raping and killing Holly Bobo, who was 20 when she disappeared from her home in Parsons on April 13, 2011.

Her remains were found 3 ½ years later in woods not far from her home in Decatur County, about 100 miles southwest of Nashville.

The trial began Monday. Bobo's family members gave emotional testimony on the first day. Her mother Karen Bobo sobbed and collapsed on the stand.

Bobo's brother testified Monday that he saw his sister and a man in the carport before they walked together into woods next to the family's home. Clint Bobo said he saw blood in the carport, but he did not know where it came from.

The blood is the first forensic evidence related to Holly Bobo presented at Adams' trial. Jurors were shown photos of blood droplets and a patch of smeared blood.

The blood evidence suggests a struggle may have taken place. It was tested to determine not only if Bobo was bleeding, but also to pinpoint whether the person who kidnapped her also was bleeding.

"There was a good amount of blood at the scene," James said.

Tennessee Woman Abducted
Zachary Adams looks back at the crowd during a break in his trial for the kidnapping, rape and murder of nursing student Holly Bobo, on Sept. 11, 2017, in Savannah, Tenn. Bobo, 20, disappeared from her home in Parsons, Tenn. on April 13, 2011, and her remains were found in September 2014. James Kenney / AP

Prosecutors say Adams, 33, took Bobo from her home, drugged her, raped her and killed her. Two other men, Jason Autry and Adams' brother, John Dylan Adams, also face charges of kidnapping, rape and murder in the case. Their trials have not been set.

James, a forensic scientist, said one of five blood samples taken from the floor of the carport next to Bobo's car yielded a complete DNA profile. James said that complete profile matched Bobo's DNA, which he had taken from underwear recovered from a hamper in the house. Two samples yielded partial profiles, and they also matched her DNA, James said. He was unable to build a profile from the two other samples.

In other testimony Tuesday, FBI agent Matthew Ross, under questioning by defense attorney Jennifer Thompson, said Adams told him he got up from bed at about 10 or 10:30 a.m. on the day Bobo disappeared — about two hours after Clint Bobo called 911 to report his sister missing. Ross, who spoke with Adams days after Holly Bobo's disappearance, said that Adams told him that he then went to an area gas station with his brother and a friend.

Adams' ex-girlfriend Rebecca Earp also took the stand Tuesday, WTVF reported. She said Adams saw a news report about Bobo and remarked, "They'll never be able to find her."

Earp said Adams threatened to "tie me up just like he did Holly Bobo, and nobody would ever see me again."

Bobo's disappearance led to a massive search of the fields, farms and woods of western Tennessee. Her case received national attention, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said it was the most exhaustive and expensive investigation the agency ever conducted.

Judge C. Creed McGinley moved the trial from Decatur County to neighboring Hardin County to secure an unbiased jury. Adams, who has a criminal record that includes drug possession and assault, faces the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder.

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