Hundreds gather for ride in Holly Bobo's memory

(The Tennessean- Parsons, TN) Marquees outside of Parsons businesses used to display sayings such as "Praying for Holly" or "Praying for Holly's safe return." Now four days after the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced murder charges against a Holladay man in the case of the missing nursing student, the signs display phrases such as "Justice for Holly" and "Fly high, beautiful butterfly."

On Wednesday, the TBI announced during a news conference that 29-year-old Zach Adams had been indicted on charges of aggravated kidnapping and felony first-degree murder of Holly Bobo, who was 20 when she was taken from her Parsons home in April 2011. It was an announcement that came with screams and tears from friends of Bobo who were watching the conference from behind members of the media.

Bobo's disappearance affected the entire community of Parsons and made waves across the state.

On Saturday afternoon, hundreds of people from all over Tennessee met in a Lexington parking lot and drove to the Decatur County Fairgrounds in Parsons for a "memorial ride for Holly Bobo."

Most people painted their vehicles to express their prayers for Bobo and their hopes for justice. Many covered their cars in the same pink bows that have been hanging up around Parsons since Bobo went missing.

The ride was organized by Jessie Stanfill, 25, of Lexington, whose wife went to high school with Bobo and was a good friend.

After the ride, Stanfill addressed the hundreds of people who participated to thank them, and then a circle prayer was held.

"I was talking to my buddy Chris and he asked me, 'Do you want it small or big?' and I said, 'Let's go all out,' and we did," Stanfill said.

Stanfill said he wanted to organize the ride because he doesn't want to "leave the Bobos alone."

"I was out there day one and I will be there until the end," he said.

Allisha McCready, of Lexington, said she didn't know Bobo personally, but she feels like she did after three years of following Bobo's case.

"We all came out to support her, and we want to show her family that we're here," McCready said before the ride began.

McCready said if she could, she'd tell the Bobo family how sorry she is.

"I wish I could take all their pain away, and I wish they never had to go through this," she said.

Kristin Baugus, of Camden, said she did know Holly and that her heart breaks for the Bobo family. "She was one of the sweetest girls you'd ever meet," she said. "She's just sweet and loving and caring and always smiling."

Baugus said her stepson once dated Holly.

"When we first met her, she was real quiet. Then when you get to know her, the more bubbly she got," Baugus said.

While Parsons residents learned their worst fears had come true, Baugus said she hopes the new developments in Bobo's case, theindictment of Adams and the ongoing investigation will bring people some closure.

'It's a step toward closure'

"I hate the outcome we've come up with, but I'm glad we've come up with something," she said. "I think everybody's upset, but it's a step toward closure."

She said the community needs to continue to support the Bobo family and keep the family in their prayers.

"I've went through so many emotions myself, and I can't even begin to understand how her family feels right now," Baugus said. "I'm sure everybody is mixed with all kinds of emotions. I went through feeling sick to I'm sad to I'm mad, and I'm sure everybody's doing the same."

Adams is being held in the Chester County jail without bond.

Even after the indictment against Adams, the TBI said its investigation of Bobo's disappearance continues.

Reach Nichole Manna at 731-425-9657 and on Twitter @NicholeManna.


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