published Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Missing student's family wants property searches

PARSONS, Tenn. — The family of a missing nursing student who police believe was abducted by a man dressed in camouflage is pleading with people to search their property in an effort to find her.

The family released the plea in a statement sent to the media Tuesday, nearly three weeks after Holly Bobo's April 13 disappearance.

"Please continue to pray for Holly's safe return," the statement said. "Keep your eyes and ears open, and search your own property."

Investigators have said they believe the student was abducted by someone familiar with the rural area outside her home near Parsons, about 100 miles northeast of Memphis. They've asked people in this rural community to report anyone acting suspiciously, or someone who may have washed a car or all-terrain vehicle shortly after the student's disappearance.

A spokeswoman for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said police are still looking for Bobo, but the search has been scaled back. She said authorities searched two places over the weekend, including one in nearby Henderson County.

"We're very much still investigating it," TBI spokeswoman Kristin Helm told The Associated Press. "We just don't have as many people dedicated to it as we did in those initials days" after her disappearance. "You just can't sustain that large an operation for a lengthy period of time."

Volunteers were called off last week because of severe weather that spawned tornadoes across the state. Rain is still hindering volunteer search efforts, Helms said.

More than 1,000 volunteers combed the rugged terrain in Decatur County to search for Bobo in the days after her disappearance.

The family thanked them for all their efforts.

"I know everyone's daily life, routines and work must go on, but ours never will until Holly is back with us," the statement said.

Authorities have said they can only hope Bobo is still alive.

The TBI has said that Bobo's 25-year-old brother, Clint Bobo, told authorities that he saw his sister being led away into the woods outside the family home by a man dressed in full hunting camouflage attire. The brother, according to police, initially thought the man with his sister was her boyfriend.

The brother called 911 after going outside and seeing a small amount of blood.

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