DECATUR COUNTY, TN (WMC) - Until further notice, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation suspended its investigation of the Holly Bobo murder case. It discontinued the investigation at the request of District Attorney General Matthew Stowe, and severed ties with the 24th Judicial District.
In a news release, TBI Director Mark Gwyn is quoted as follows:
"We certainly regret these unprecedented circumstances playing out in the media, but in a meeting last week, which included 30th District Attorney General Amy Weirich, 28th District Attorney and President of the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference Garry Brown, and Wally Kirby, Executive Director of the Conference, Stowe made allegations of misconduct by TBI and other law enforcement agencies, both local and federal. He also repeatedly stated he wanted our Agency to suspend all activities in his district, after which Weirich removed her office's resources from the Holly Bobo case. Stowe may characterize this as a misunderstanding, but his requests were clear and I wasn't the only one who heard it."
TBI also said its special agents devoted countless hours of casework and forensic analysis to the case since Bobo's disappearance in 2011. Most of the investigative records and the results from most of the evidence submitted in the investigation have been turned over to the District Attorney General's Office.
In the release, TBI said pending forensic analysis in the case will be available soon, but until further notice, "TBI personnel will no longer offer comment or information about the Bobo case or any other case originating in the 24th Judicial District."
Gwyn is further quoted in the release:
"For years, we pursued the Bobo case with the utmost diligence and dedication for the sake of Holly's family and friends. We are proud of our investigative efforts and remain hopeful that justice will eventually be served."
TBI said from now on, local law enforcement agencies in the 24th District will be responsible for investigating the incidents that occur in their jurisdictions, and will also be required to secure and fund their own forensic analysis for all future cases.
In a letter to Stowe on Wednesday, Gwyn proposed a meeting, facilitated by the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference, to talk about TBI's future role in the 24th district. In the press release from TBI, Gwyn is quoted as saying:
"We have proudly served the 24th Judicial District-- and its residents-- for decades. We hope Stowe will help us resolve these issues quickly so we can get back to the important work of pursuing our core values of truth, bravery, and integrity in his district as the state's lead law enforcement agency."