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Father arrested in murder of two girls

Date: May 11, 2005
Source: ABC News Online

ZION, Ill. May 11, 2005 — When the father of a missing 8-year-old found her bloodied body in a ravine, next to her lifeless best friend, it seemed every parent's worst nightmare.

Jerry Hobbs, just out of prison, led police to the girls himself. They wanted to know how he found them. They kept asking him questions. Finally, after hours of being interviewed, Hobbs was charged with both murders, a crime that stunned this small city near the Wisconsin line.

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"I think its safe to say his reaction to questions piqued the officers' interest to question him further," prosecutor Michael Waller said in announcing the charges Tuesday.

Waller would not discuss possible motives for the killings but said details would come out when Hobbs appeared in bond court Wednesday.

"This horrific crime has terrorized and traumatized the Zion community and, I think it's safe to say, people of good will everywhere," Waller said. "There's no rational explanation or reasonable motive that can be ascribed to an act of horror like this."

Hobbs, 34, took authorities to the bodies just off a bike path early Monday, claiming he had spotted them while searching for his missing daughter with the girl's grandfather, Arthur Hollabaugh.

Hobbs was questioned through the day Monday and again Tuesday in the deaths of Laura Hobbs, 8, and Krystal Tobias, 9. Both girls had been beaten and stabbed multiple times and then left to die in the woods on Mother's Day.

The county coroner, Richard Keller, said the girls were found side-by-side, facing up and did not appear to have been sexually assaulted. They appeared to have been killed near where they were found, he said.

"If it was him, then good thing they brought him down," said Krystal's 15-year-old brother, Alberto Segura. "We never thought a father would do that to a daughter. They were just babies. They didn't do anything wrong."

Hobbs has an extensive criminal history dating to 1990 in Texas, including arrests for assault and resisting arrest, according to records kept by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
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