Missing Talala Man's Body Found Near Antlers; Police Make Arrest

Monday, July 20th 2015, 10:47 am
By: News On 6

Tulsa Police made an arrest connected to the discovery of a Talala man’s body.

Sunday, Chazz Holly’s body was found by the side of the Indian Nations Turnpike near Antlers.

Monday evening, Tulsa Police arrested 27-year-old Vernon Smith for second-degree murder.

Police said they first came into contact with Smith on July 15, 2015 when he said he knew Chazz was in the Dallas area alive and well.

Rogers County investigators said they interviewed Smith and released him pending further evidence that Chazz was not just missing.

As the investigation into Chazz’s disappearance continued, investigators learned Holly was kidnapped from the Tulsa area and died at an undetermined location. Police said his body was then dumped along the highway.

A private investigator hired by the family and a cousin of Holly found the body on Sunday. They were with a group called Bridging the Gap, a volunteer group that helped with the search.

Holly, 27, had last been seen June 20, 2015, near 67th and Lewis in Tulsa. Deputies say he had cerebral palsy and delayed cognitive reasoning.

Investigators don't know yet how he died, but it looks suspicious.

The Holly family has been searching for the past month for their missing son, Chazz.

Clay Holly held a news conference after his son's body was found, thanking friends of the family who helped search in the heat for six hours.

"This is a kind of closure, at least we know where our son is at," he said. "A lot of hard work to get up to this point, but if we hadn't found him, it might of lingered."

7/8/2015 Related Story: Family Pleads For Info About Missing Rogers County Man

Rogers County deputies started investigating Chazz's disappearance in late June when his parents filed a missing person's report. They learned Holly might have gone with an acquaintance to Texas.

"Our hopes in this is we find Mr. Holly alive," said Chief Deputy Shane Rhames. "We felt there was information and good leads that said he was probably in the Longview, Texas-area with some associations, and that's probably where we would find him at.

"But unfortunately things didn't go as that - as what we'd hoped it would."

Chazz was last seen at a Tulsa apartment complex near 67th and Lewis. Investigators believed he was heading to the Dallas area with some people he knew.

"Nobody looks for missing adults. Until that changes to something else, it's up to anyone who wants to, to find him," he told the media.

The Hollys had returned from a short vacation and couldn't find their son. They held a news conference earlier this month to ask for help in locating him. He was without his medication, and they were afraid he was being held against his will.

They got a tip from someone that spotted the Holly's missing pickup in southern Oklahoma. That tip led the family and search crews to an area 20 miles north of the Texas state line.

The truck was recovered in Longview, Texas.

Chazz's father was there when they found his son.

"I don't know if anybody can imagine, plus we're - you know - 150 miles from home on the side of a highway," Clay said. "It was a long drive home by myself last night."

While the family grieves, they're grateful for all the help they've received.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the Tulsa Police Department are investigating Holly's disappearance and death.