Arrest made in 2006 murder of Holly Marie Simmons

June 01, 2021

Arrest made in 2006 murder of Holly Marie Simmons

On November 28, 2006, 46-year-old Holly Marie Simmons dropped her eldest daughter, Ashley, off at a local bus stop so she could get the bus to school. Seventeen-year-old Ashley Simmons and her younger sister lived with their mother in a trailer park on 200 Cortez in Buchanan Dam in Llano County, TX. Their mother supported them working as a nursing technician, usually she would work in hospitals, clinics and nursing homes, however, in November of 2006 she was working at a nearby private member-owned golf club in Escondido as a waiter. She was well-liked at her job and always showed up on time for shifts.

Later that evening Ashely returned to the mobile home to find her mother missing. Usually, Holly picked Ashley up from school but on the afternoon of November 28, she did not show up and Ashley took the bus home by herself.

Holly Simmons' immediate possessions which she would not usually leave the home without, such as her keys, phone, bag and wallet, had all been left behind. Holly’s car was still parked on the drive. There was no sign of a struggle, nor was there any sign of forced entry. Holly always left the door to the mobile home unlocked, something she felt safe doing as the family had an intimidating dog.  Unable to contact her mother and alone, as her younger sister, 15-year-old Alicia, was staying over at a friend’s house that night, Ashely left the outside light on, hoping her mother would return later that night. Holly Simmons would never return.

The following morning Ashley contacted the police and filed a missing person report. Holly had neglected to show up to her shift at the Escondido Golf Course and concern was beginning to build.

She would never be seen alive again.

Three years later in 2009, a body was discovered by off-duty firemen investigating a submerged boat in Inks Lake near Highway 29 in Texas, 55 miles northwest of Austin. The small aluminium boat appeared to have been deliberately weighted down with concrete and submerged. Human remains were found cemented in the bottom of the boat and were sent off for analysis. The remains were identified as Holly Simmons using dental records and an autopsy revealed that she had been murdered. The details were not revealed to the public or media. Investigators believed Holly Simmons' killer was someone close to her, or at the very least someone who knew her, but no suspect was ever identified. They attempted to locate an individual who had purchased both a boat and doghouse at a house sale in Buchanan Dam in Llano county, Texas the same year Holly went missing for questioning, however, they had no luck in doing so. Although they assured the buyer that they were not considered a suspect in the case, no individual ever came forward. "The person who purchased the items may have useful information on the case and is not suspected of a crime" Police said in a public appeal.

Before she went missing, Holly had confided in ex-work colleagues that she was having issues with her landlord, Jimmy Wolfenbarger. In a phone call she told Shaina Smith, with whom she had worked alongside as a care assistant, that she wanted to get away from her landlord and feared that he was listening to the phone call. Jimmy Wolfenbarger had not always been Holly Simmons’ landlord. They were friends for a while before he purchased the trailer park and it was Simmons who suggested he do so, as she knew he had been scouting for an area to start an R.V park and the one she lived in was for sale. They were good friends before Wolfenbarger’s behaviour began to change. He became such an uncomfortable and awkward presence in their lives that Holly Simmons and her daughters began to actively avoid him.

Holly Simmons and Jimmy Wolfenbarger once had an argument where Simmons' demanded he leave her alone and "just be a landlord." The relationship between them had been described as “weird”. According to reports on the case, the landlord displayed inappropriate behaviour towards Holly Simmons’ 15-year-old daughter.  

“He made it very uncomfortable, as a landlord, for even friends and family to come over.” Ashley Simmons later said. Ashely had been telling investigators from the beginning that Wolfenbarger was responsible for her mother’s disappearance and death and never doubted for a second that it would be someone else.

Now, 15 years after Holly Simmons murder, Jimmy Wolfenbarger has been charged with murder. It is believed the suspect strangled Holly Simmons to death with a ligature before concealing and disposing of her body in the lake. It is believed the victim was killed inside her trailer. Police believe that disposing of Simmons’ body was a two-man job and suspected that Wolfenbarger likely had help concealing the body.

The Texas Department of public safety states that Jimmy Wolfenbarger, now 57, was arrested May 3, 2021, and charged with one count of murder.

Wolfenbarger is currently being detained at the Lubbock County Detention Centre. His bail was set at $2 Million. According to a statement published to the Texas Department of public website, Wolfenbarger has posted bond and been released- a move that left Llano County Sheriff’s Department stunned. Wolfenbarger’s passport has been confiscated. It is unclear if he has an attorney.

Sources: [X][X][X]

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