Jen Wix was mad when she called her mom on March 24, 2004, Wednesday. There was a fight between the 21-year-old and her live-in boyfriend, William Joseph “Joey” Benton, 23. She wanted to talk to her mother about it. Kathy Holloway didn’t know it would be the last time she talked to her daughter. Jennifer Wix and her daughter Adrianna Wix, 2, were last seen at their home in Cross Plains, Tennessee, the next day. They were never seen again.
Jennifer usually had a lot of conversations with her family, so when they couldn’t reach her, they knew something was wrong. They were getting really angry by Saturday morning because they still couldn’t call Jennifer. When they finally reached her boyfriend, he said Jennifer had left the house with a friend he didn’t know on Thursday and hadn’t come back. Jennifer’s family called the police to say that she and Adrianna were not there.
Jennifer was the middle child of three girls and loved being a mom. She took Adrianna to the zoo a lot so she could share her love of animals with her. Her favorite thing to do was stay up late and sleep in the next morning. She spent all of her free time with her daughter. In the fall before, she moved in with her boyfriend, but she kept in touch with her mother and siblings.
At first, Joey told the police that Jennifer had left home with a friend. But he soon changed his story and said that he had dropped Jennifer and Adrianna off at an Exxon station at 9:30 pm on Thursday. He couldn’t remember which Exxon station he left them at. In the end, Joey said that Jennifer came home the next day without Adrianna in a white car and asked to get her tax refund check, but Joey’s parents weren’t home to give it to her. After she left, she told him she would get it, but she never did.
Investigators didn’t find any signs of foul play, but they did say they didn’t know what to think of Joey’s changing stories about what happened to Jennifer and her daughter.
After the fact, Joey told the police that Jennifer left the house in a white car that looked like either a four-door Ford Mustang or a four-door Chevrolet Camaro, but neither of those cars exists. Both the Mustang and the Camaro are two-door sports cars; neither model comes with four doors. Strangely, this difference didn’t seem to be noticed by anyone, as the description given by Joey was printed in local newspapers.
Family and friends of Jennifer were scared. Lisa Robertson, her aunt, said it was very unlike the young woman to stop calling these people. “She calls a few times a day and talks to some of us.” When she didn’t call, I knew something was wrong. Nick Holloway, Jennifer’s stepfather, said she was too trusting, and they were afraid that her desire to find the good in everyone could have gotten her into trouble. “We worry a lot about her.”
Jen’s dad, Michael Wix, was one of the last people to talk to her before she went missing. He told the police that she had said she was angry and fighting with Joey’s family.
Jennifer’s family and friends held a candlelight vigil at Cross Plains’ City Park on March 29, 2004. To bring attention to the fact that Jennifer and Adrianna were missing and to pray for their safe return, they did this. Kathy begged people to help her find her daughter and granddaughter, and she told anyone who thought they saw them to call the police.
Jennifer and Adrianna were hard for Kathy to find. It was her choice to take time off from work so she could focus on the search. She went around Robertson County all day handing out missing person flyers and telling everyone about the mother and daughter who were last seen. “This is now my full-time job…”I’ll do anything that could help me find them.
In an effort to get more information, Jennifer’s family said they would pay $5,000 for information that led to the safe return of Jennifer and Adrianna. Kathy agreed that there might be people who knew something but were too scared to say anything. “If someone knows something, they can call me and say it without giving their name. I only need them back.”
Detectives had not been able to move the case forward. They talked to Jennifer’s boyfriend several times and used cadaver dogs to search the house where the mother and daughter were last seen. There were no signs that would lead them to believe what had happened to Jennifer and Adrianna.
Jennifer and Adrianna were last seen months ago. The people who knew them thought they had been killed, but detectives couldn’t find any solid proof of what happened. Kathy desperately wanted to find her daughter and granddaughter and talked to psychics, but they couldn’t help her find them.
Kathy set up another candlelight vigil for Jennifer and Adrianna on December 14, 2004. It took place at Owens Chapel Methodist Church in Springfield, Tennessee, and everyone was welcome. It was meant to remind people that the mother and daughter had not been seen in over eight months.
As the anniversary of Jennifer and Adrianna’s disappearance drew near, police told reporters they were still hopeful that they would be found. Lt. Don Bennett of the Robertson County Sheriff’s Office said that Jennifer and Adrianna had been seen 104 times in the last two months. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Sheriff’s Department worked together to send Jennifer and Adrianna picture postcards all over the country. There were a lot of tips because of this.
Kathy did everything she could to keep Jennifer and Adrianna from getting away. For most of the past year, she has been focusing on the search alone. “Either I was driving or talking on the phone.” I didn’t eat or sleep. I was so pumped up that I ran.”
People saw Jennifer and Adrianna on an episode of America’s Most Wanted in January 2006. Dozens of people called the police after the show to say they 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 she and Jennifer went missing. She had planned to travel during the day, but she had to change her plans when her granddaughter disappeared. She helped look for Jennifer and Adrianna for the next two years. In March 2006, she decided to run for Robertson County Sheriff.
Peggy said she had never worked as a police officer before. “Being a victim of a crime in this county made me realize how badly Robertson County needs a change in their law enforcement leadership. I never thought about becoming sheriff before.”You’ve been very unfair to us, and I don’t want that to happen to anyone else. She said that the fact that she had managed stores before was proof enough that she would be a good sheriff. She lost.
On the third anniversary of Jennifer and Adrianna’s disappearance, police said they were now looking into the case as a double murder. Lt. Bennett told the news media that the two were still listed as missing, but it was thought that they were dead. “Because so many people have seen them and nothing has been proven, we have to assume they are dead.”
Kathy said she still thought about Jennifer and Adrianna all the time, even though it had been five years since they were last seen. It was very hard not to know what happened to them. “I still see horrible things that you can’t even imagine.” On the anniversary of the disappearance, she held a candlelight vigil every year. The event took place in the spring, which used to be my favorite season but is now my least favorite.
Kathy was certain that Joey and maybe even his dad knew what happened to Jennifer and Adrianna. Detectives agreed that the mother and daughter had probably been killed, but unless their bodies were found, it was not likely that anyone would be charged. Kathy only wanted to know. “I don’t care at all if anyone ever goes to prison at this point in my life.” The only thing I really want is to find my daughter and granddaughter and bury them properly. Then I can bring them flowers on Christmas and Mother’s Day.
To bring Jennifer and Adrianna home in 2011, Kathy said she would never give up. “A lot of people say you need to end things…That word makes me mad. In this case, there is no such thing as ending it. If your children are missing, you probably will never be able to move on.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children released a picture in July 2011 that showed what Adrianna might look like when she is 9 years old. Police said they had tried to find leads in California, Florida, Michigan, and Oklahoma but had not been successful. They were hoping that the photo of the person’s age progression would help them find new leads.
Jennifer and Adrianna’s case was officially changed to a murder in December 2013. The two had not been seen in almost ten years, and no one who knew about the case thought they were still alive. Kathy told him that Jennifer and Adrianna’s disappearance had been like a nightmare for the family. She just wanted to know what happened to them. She begged people at a press conference to help her family find out what happened. “Help me find my girls and bury them with honor and respect.”
Sheriff Bill Holt of Robertson County told reporters that detectives had recently found new evidence in the case that made them believe that there was foul play. He wouldn’t give any more information, but he did say that no one, not even Joey, was no longer a suspect. Their family’s land had been searched several times since Jennifer and Adrianna went missing. At one point, a pond had even been drained. They didn’t find anything.
Carrole Benton, Joey’s grandmother, told reporters that the family had at first helped with the investigation. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m sorry she went missing. We really liked that little girl, but she’s not on our land. We don’t know anything about it. But when investigators tried to do another search on the property, the family wouldn’t let them in.
In February 2014, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said that he would give a $10,000 reward for information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of the person who took Jennifer and Adrianna. Crime Stoppers, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and friends and family of the victims were all offering an extra $17,000 for information in the case.
After years, it was clear that the investigation had come to a standstill. Jennifer’s family had hoped that the reward money would lead to new clues, but police were not able to find any solid leads in the case. The investigation got stronger in February 2023 when a new detective was put in charge of Jennifer and Adrianna’s case. This detective had worked on cold cases before. The detective met with Jennifer’s mother and sister, who were hopeful that he could make some progress on the case. The sister of Jennifer Robinson said, “Even if we found Jennifer and Adrianna, all we want is to be able to bury them and never find out who did it.”
The last time anyone saw Jennifer Kay Wix was in March 2004 in Cross Plains, Tennessee. She was only 21 years old. She was 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 130 pounds when she went missing. She has brown eyes and hair. The only time she wore her glasses was when she was driving. Her ears and tongue were pierced.
Adana Nikol Wix and her mother disappeared from Cross Plains, Tennessee, in March 2004. Adana was only 2 years old at the time. She fell and was last seen with blue eyes and brown hair. She was 3 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 25 pounds.
Jennifer and Adrianna are thought to have been killed and their bodies have never been found. No one has been arrested in connection with this case. Please call the Robertson County Sheriff’s Office at 615–384–7971 if you know anything about Jennifer and Adrianna.