Investigator: Blood from carport matches slain woman's DNA

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 (161 kilometers) southwest of Nashville.

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.

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.

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.