Jennifer Wix was upset when she called her mother on Wednesday, March 24, 2004. The 21-year-old had a fight with her live-in boyfriend, 23-year-old William Joseph “Joey” Benton, and she wanted to talk to her mother about it. Kathy Holloway had no idea it would be the last time she spoke to her daughter. By the following day, Jennifer and her 2-year-old daughter, Adrianna Wix, had gone missing from their Cross Plains, Tennessee home and were never seen again.

Jennifer was normally in constant contact with her family, so they knew something was wrong when they weren’t able to get in touch with her. By Saturday morning, they were growing frantic when they still weren’t able to reach Jennifer by phone. They finally got a hold of her boyfriend, who claimed Jennifer left their house on Thursday with a friend he didn’t know and never returned. Jennifer’s family called the police and reported her and Adrianna missing.

Jennifer was the oldest of three girls and loved being a mother. She loved animals and would often take Adrianna to the zoo so she could share this love with her. She was a night owl, preferring to stay up late and sleep in, and all of her free time was spent with her daughter. She moved in with her boyfriend the previous autumn but stayed in close contact with her mother and siblings.

Initially, Joey told police that Jennifer left home with a friend, but he soon changed his story and claimed he dropped her and Adrianna off at an Exxon station at 9:30 pm Thursday. He was unable to recall at which Exxon station he dropped them off. Joey later claimed that Jennifer returned home the following day without Adrianna driving a white car and asked to get her tax refund check, but Joey’s parents weren’t home to give it to her. She told him she would come back for it and left, but she never returned.

Investigators were unable to find any evidence of foul play but admitted that they weren’t sure what to make of Joey and his changing accounts of what happened to Jennifer and her daughter.

Joey later told detectives that Jennifer left the house in a white car, either a four-door Ford Mustang or a four-door Chevrolet Camaro — neither of which exists. Mustangs and Camaros are two-door sports cars; there is no four-door option on either model. Oddly, no one seemed to catch this discrepancy, as local newspapers printed the description provided by Joey.

Jennifer’s family feared the worst. Her aunt, Lisa Robertson, said it was completely out of character for the young woman to stop contacting them. “She calls several times a day and talks to some of us. I knew something was wrong when she didn’t call.” Her stepfather, Nick Holloway, noted that Jennifer was a very trusting person and they feared her willingness to see the good in everyone might have gotten her into trouble. “We are so worried about her.”

Jennifer’s father, Michael Wix, was one of the last people to speak with Jennifer before she disappeared. He told detectives that she had said she was fighting with Joey’s family and seemed to be upset.

On March 29, 2004, Jennifer’s friends and family held a candlelight vigil at City Park in Cross Plains. They wanted to raise awareness about the fact that Jennifer and Adrianna were missing and pray for their safe return. Kathy pleaded with the public for help finding her daughter and granddaughter, asking anyone who thought they had seen the pair to call detectives.

Kathy was determined to find Jennifer and Adrianna. She took a leave of absence from her job so she could concentrate solely on the search effort. She spent her days traveling throughout Robertson County, distributing missing person flyers and making sure everyone knew about the missing mother and daughter. “This is my full-time job now…I’ll do anything that might help me find them.”

In an effort to bring in some new tips, Jennifer’s family announced that they were offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of Jennifer and Adrianna. Kathy acknowledged that there could be people with information who were afraid to get involved. “If someone knows something, they can phone it in anonymously, I don’t care. I just want them back.”

Detectives had been unable to make any progress on the case. They questioned Jennifer’s boyfriend several times and searched the home where the mother and daughter were last seen with cadaver dogs. They found no clues to indicate what had happened to Jennifer and Adrianna.

Months went by without any sign of Jennifer or Adrianna. While their loved ones feared they met with foul play, detectives were unable to come up with any solid evidence of their fate. Desperate to locate her daughter and granddaughter, Kathy consulted with psychics but they were unable to provide any clues to their location.

On December 14, 2004, Kathy organized another candlelight vigil for Jennifer and Adrianna. The vigil was held at Owens Chapel Methodist Church in Springfield, Tennessee, and was open to the public. It was a way of reminding people that the mother and daughter were still missing after more than eight months.

As the first anniversary of Jennifer and Adrianna’s disappearance approached, detectives assured reporters that they still thought the pair would be found. Robertson County Sheriff’s Lt. Don Bennett said there had been 104 reported sightings of Jennifer and Adrianna in the past two months. The Sheriff’s Department was working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to send mailings with pictures of Jennifer and Adrianna across the country. This resulted in a flood of tips.

Kathy continued to do everything she could to find Jennifer and Adrianna. She spent most of the past year concentrating exclusively on the search effort. “I was either on the road or on the phone. I went without food and sleep. I just ran on adrenaline.”

In January 2006, Jennifer and Adrianna were featured on an episode of America’s Most Wanted. After the episode aired, detectives received tips from dozens of people who thought they had seen the missing mother and daughter, but none of the sightings could be confirmed.

Jennifer’s grandmother, Peggy Calvert, retired two months before Adrianna and Jennifer disappeared. She had intended to spend her days traveling but put her plans on hold once her granddaughter vanished. She spent the next two years assisting in the search for Jennifer and Adrianna, then in March 2006 decided to run for Robertson County Sheriff.

Peggy admitted that she had no experience in law enforcement. “I never thought of becoming sheriff until I became a victim of a crime in this county, and becoming a victim made me realize how desperately Robertson County needs a change in their law enforcement leadership…I see how unfairly we’ve been treated and I don’t want it to happen to everybody else.” She had experience in retail management and said that was enough to ensure citizens that she would make a good sheriff. She did not win.

On the third anniversary of Jennifer and Adrianna’s disappearance, detectives admitted the case was now being investigated as a double homicide. Lt. Bennett told reporters that although the pair was still listed as missing, it was assumed that they were no longer alive. “With all those sightings and nothing concrete, we have to presume they are de*ad.”

Five years after Jennifer and Adrianna were last seen, Kathy admitted that she still thought about them all the time. Not knowing what happened to them was the hardest part. “I still have visions, horrible visions that you cannot imagine.” Each year she held a candlelight vigil to mark the anniversary of the disappearance. “It happened in the springtime, which had been my favorite time of year, but now it’s my most dreaded time of year.”

Kathy was convinced that Joey — and possibly his father — knew exactly what happened to Jennifer and Adrianna. Although detectives agreed that the mother and daughter had likely been victims of foul play, unless their bodies were found, it was unlikely any charges would be filed in the case. Kathy just wanted answers. “At this point in my life, I really couldn’t care less if anyone ever goes to prison. What I want most is just to find my daughter and granddaughter so I can bury them properly…where I can take them flowers at Christmas and on Mother’s Day.”

In 2011, Kathy said she was never going to give up trying to bring Jennifer and Adrianna home. “A lot of people say you need closure…I hate that word. There is no such thing as closure in a case like this. With missing children, you are not likely to ever have closure.”

In July 2011, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children released an age-progression photograph showing what Adrianna might look like as a 9-year-old. Detectives said they had tracked down leads in California, Florida, Michigan, and Oklahoma without success, and they hoped that the age-progression photograph might bring in some new leads.

In December 2013, Jennifer and Adrianna’s case was officially reclassified as a homicide. The pair had been missing for nearly a decade and no one close to the case believed that they were still alive. Kathy admitted that the family had been living in a nightmare since Jennifer and Adrianna vanished, and she just wanted to know what happened to them. At a press conference, she pleaded with the public to help the family get answers. “Help me find my girls and lay them to rest with respect and dignity.”

Robertson County Sheriff Bill Holt told reporters that detectives had recently developed new information in the case that convinced them that foul play was involved. He declined to offer any details, though he did say that no one had been eliminated as a suspect — including Joey. They had searched his family’s property several times since Jennifer and Adrianna went missing, at one point even draining a pond. They never found anything.

Joey’s grandmother, Carrole Benton, told reporters that the family had initially cooperated with the investigation. “I’m sorry she went missing, don’t get me wrong. We loved that little girl…but she’s not on our property. We don’t know nothing about it.” When investigators attempted to conduct another search on the property, however, the family refused to allow them access.

In February 2014, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced that he was issuing a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the disappearances of Jennifer and Adrianna. The victims’ family members and friends, along with Crime Stoppers and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, were offering an additional $17,000 for information in the case.

Years went by and it was clear the investigation had stalled. Although Jennifer’s family had been hopeful that the reward money would bring in new tips, detectives were unable to develop any solid leads in the case. The investigation got a boost in February 2023 when a new detective — one who had experience solving cold cases — was assigned to work on Jennifer and Adrianna’s case. Jennifer’s mother and sister met with the detective and felt optimistic that he would be able to make some progress on the case. Casey Robinson, Jennifer’s sister, noted, “Even if we were to find Jennifer and Adrianna…be able to lay them to rest, and we never found out who did it…that’s all we want.”

Jennifer Kay Wix was just 21 years old when she vanished from Cross Plains, Tennessee in March 2004. She has brown eyes and brown hair, and at the time of her disappearance, she was 5 feet 5 inches and weighed 130 pounds. She had eyeglasses but usually only wore them when she was driving, and her ears and tongue were pierced.

Adrianna Nikol Wix was just 2 years old when she vanished from Cross Plains, Tennessee in March 2004 along with her mother. She has blue eyes and brown hair, and at the time of her disappearance, she was 3 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 25 pounds.

Detectives believe that Jennifer and Adrianna met with foul play and are likely deceased, but their bodies have never been found and there have been no arrests in their case. If you have any information about Jennifer and Adrianna, please contact the Robertson County Sheriff’s Office at 615–384–7971.

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