Cold Case Cracked: Former landlord accused of stashing missing woman's body in sunken boat

texas cold case
Source: Texas Department of Public Safety

May. 15 2021, Published 4:18 p.m. ET

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After 15 years as a cold case, police say they solved what happened to a missing Texas woman and her former landlord faces a murder charge. 

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Jimmy Wolfenbarger, 57, of Lubbock, was indicted in Llano County on one count of murder in connection to the November 2006 death of Holly Simmons, 46, of Buchanan Dam on May, 3, 2021. 

According to The Texas Department of Public Safety, her 17-year-old daughter reported Simmons missing on Nov. 28, 2006, after she dropped her daughter off at the school bus stop the previous morning. 

Simmons was never seen alive again.

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Investigators interviewed neighbors, coworkers and associates, combed through her house on Cortez Trail, and ultimately came up empty and the case went cold. 

Almost three years passed before a recreational diver found a submerged aluminum boat at the bottom of Inks Lake on July 7, 2009. Authorities found Simmons’ body in the bottom of the boat with concrete bags placed over her, which had become waterlogged and hardened.

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Texas Rangers Unsolved Crimes Investigation Program reviewed the case extensively, ultimately assigning it to a Texas Ranger to reinvestigate with the Llano County Sheriff’s Office in 2016. 

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Wolfenbarger, Simmons’ landlord, lived near her home in an RV park at the time, who often had disputes with Simmons regarding one of her two daughters, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety

Police did not release a motive for the alleged killing. 

Wolfenbarger was booked in the Lubbock County Detention Center on May 12, 2021, with bail set at $2 million. 

He has since posted bond and been released.

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