Police set roadblocks in search for Tennessee woman

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 19, 2011 5:35 PM
Police set roadblocks in search for Tennessee woman

By Tim Ghianni

NASHVILLE, Tenn (Reuters) - Police set five roadblocks on Tuesday to uncover more leads in the nearly week-old disappearance of 20-year-old nursing student Holly Bobo that has shaken her small Tennessee hometown.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and state patrol asked vehicle occupants stopped around Decatur County if they had seen anything unusual last Wednesday when Bobo disappeared from Darden or in the days afterward.

The efforts came one day after Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam tripled an existing community reward to $75,000 and investigators pleaded for more leads into her disappearance.

Bobo, who is a cousin of country artist Whitney Duncan, was apparently led into the woods by her arm or hand by a man wearing camouflage clothing. Investigators believe her abductor likely would have needed familiarity with the dense woods and have concentrated on local residents.

Officers asked residents if they have seen anything unusual, such as co-workers missing work or someone excessively cleaning a vehicle in the days after Bobo disappeared.

Searchers combed a state park north of Darden Monday on horseback, all-terrain vehicles and on foot and continued to search on Tuesday. Investigators also have used imaging technology to map the bottoms of bodies of water.

Kevin Cagle, county Emergency Management Agency director, said the volunteers continued to search Tuesday.

Phil Barrett, a local jeweler who knows the Bobo family and many searchers, said her disappearance had shaken the county.

"This will be with us forever," he said. "We had a little false sense of security. You didn't think this would happen in a population of 2,500 in the town and 10,000 in the county."

Barrett said people were hopeful she would be found alive.

"I think everybody wants to keep negative thoughts out of their minds," Barrett said. "They want to keep positive and keep hoping and praying."

The state investigations bureau said on Tuesday they would provide no more daily updates on the case, instead waiting for fresh developments.

Bobo was last seen by her brother as she was led into the woods by a man in full camouflage clothing. The brother mistakenly thought the man was her boyfriend and didn't worry about it until later when he saw blood in the carport area.

(Reporting by Tim Ghianni; Editing by Greg McCune)