'Holly I love you so much': Parents of abducted Holly Bobo make emotional plea for daughter's return
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 10:21 AM on 15th April 2011
Last updated at 10:21 AM on 15th April 2011
- Country star Whitney Duncan appeals for help in finding cousin
- Vigil held by neighbours as police launch hunt for abductor
- Police dogs and helicopters used in desperate search for Holly
- Thousands of friends, family and neighbours scour the area for clues
- $25,000 reward offered for her return
Missing: Holly Bobo is shown in this undated photo from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
The parents of abducted 20-year-old Holly Bobo made an emotional appeal for help in finding their daughter today.
Dana and Karen Bobo called for any information to help locate Holly who was violently abducted from her Tennessee home in front of her brother and mother on Wednesday.
Holly - the cousin of country music star Whitney Duncan - was last seen being dragged across the carport from her family home towards a wooded area.
Today her parents paid a tearful tribute to the 'thousands' of volunteers who have joined police in the hunt for the missing nursing student.
Barely able to contain his tears, Dana Bobo said: 'We've got thousands of people, we've got friends and neighbours and people we don't even know helping us.
When asked what he would say to his missing daughter he replied: 'I would tell her I love her, and tell her to call us.
'We are hopeful she is going to be brought back soon.'
Speculating on who may have abducted his daughter, Mr Bobo added: 'The way it looks to me myself, it might have been somebody close.
'Somebody that kinda knew our routine, knew when she (Karen) left, when I left, when my daughter left to go to school, is what I kinda got in my mind, but I don't know that for sure.'
Barely able to talk, Karen Bobo said: 'Holly I love you so much, please try and get back to us,' before she was carried off by a police officer and her husband.
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Appeal: Karen and Dana Bobo make an emotional appeal today for help in the kidnapping of their daughter
Help: Volunteers sign up to help in the search for abducted Holly Bobo
Tracked: People bring all-terrain vehicles as they arrive to volunteer in the search
Holly's 25-year-old brother witnessed the attack from inside the house where she lives with her parents. He described her attacker as a white male wearing camouflage clothing.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's Violent Crime Response Team today continued to gather evidence at Holly's home in Decatur County, a rural area of small, modest homes about 100 miles from Memphis.
Police sealed off Swan Johnson Road, in the Darden community area, near Parsons, where her home is located, to look for clues.
The suspected home invasion happened around 7:30am as Holly was leaving to travel to university.
Holly is 5ft 3in with shoulder-length blonde hair and weighs around 110lbs.
She was said to be wearing a pink shirt and light blue jeans at the time of her suspected abduction.
Family and friends are now working with police to try and find her.
Officials said two 911 calls were made Wednesday morning, one by the brother and another by a woman policy did not identify.
Since news spread, neighbours and people in nearby communities have poured out to help the search, bring food and support family members who are holding together reasonably well, said Decatur County Mayor Michael Smith.
'Please pray for her': Country singer Whitney Duncan, Holly's cousin, appealed on Facebook
Speaking to MailOnline Sheriff Roy Wyatt said: 'At this time we are still in the early stages of the investigation.
'It is not clear yet how the kidnapper escaped from the woods.
'I would like to thank the volunteers out helping us with searches- we are a rural county and without their help I don't know how we would cope with something like this.'
Sheriff Wyatt would not comment on why Holly's brother was unable to pursue the kidnapper.
Miss Duncan, 26, last night made an appeal for fans to pray for Holly's safe return.
'My cousin Holly was kidnapped this morning,' she wrote on Facebook. 'Please pray for her & our family. This is really sad & shocking.'
She tweeted: 'Lord have mercy. I feel like I'm walking in a nightmare. Thanks for all the prayers and please keep spreading the amber alert.'
Police were today conducting a grid search of the area using dogs and a helicopter to try to find the nursing student.
Riders on horseback were also being used to search wooded areas.
Residents of Decatur County held a vigil and prayer service for Holly close to where the 20-year-old went missing.
At Bear Creek Baptist Church in Parsons, around 250 volunteers from several neighbouring towns had gathered to continue the search late last night.
Search parties in trucks and cars scoured the countryside for clues to help locate the missing woman.
Mr Smith said the close-knit community has little crime, so word of this has come as a shock. Parsons has about 2,500 residents.
Beauty: Holly Bobo seen here with her sister. The search by land and air continues today
Appeal: Authorities want any details on her whereabouts and have dispatched dogs, horses and helicopters
Wilderness: Search parties have been scouring the rural areas around Holly's home in the hunt for clues
Mary Cruse, a resident who joined in the search, said: 'Its the least we can do.
'And if we were in the same situation we would hope and pray that everybody would come out for us also.
'These are friends of ours and even if we didn't know them we would still do it.'
Bud Grimes, a spokesman for the University of Tennessee at Martin, said Holly was studying to be a licensed practical nurse through the Tennessee Technology Center.
Whitney Duncan: Country star profile
She was taking classes at the university's extension campus in Parsons, but was not a UT-Martin student.
Family friend David Ivey, whose son went to high school with Bobo, said the young woman has an 'angelic voice' and loved to show it off in talent contests at school.
She also would sing solos at Corinth Baptist Church where she was a member, he said.
Her pastor, Don Franks, from the Corinth Baptist Church, said he has known the young woman all her life and called her 'a fine young Christian girl' with the voice of an angel.
He said the community response to her abduction has been exceptional.
'They're searching, bringing food and holding prayer vigils. The whole community is praying for her safety and well-being.'
Abduction: This is the home where Holly Bobo was abducted on Wednesday morning
Protected: Despite the warning Holly was taken in what police are calling a home invasion and abduction
A vigil was held in her village last night as residents offered prayers in the hope for her safe return.
Chris Warren, of Amazing Grace Ministries in Parsons, has been praying for Holly and said he has been encouraged by support from the local community.
'I'm sure it means a lot to know people are behind them and praying for them,' he told the Jackson Sun.
'I can't imagine how devastating this is, but I'm sure to know people are helping and doing as much as they can means a lot.'
On social networking site Facebook, friends and well wishers - many of whom have adopted Holly's photo as their profile picture to aid the search - also posted prayers.
Susan Wood Brownyard wrote: 'Dear Lord, please keep her safe, and return her safely to her precious family.
'She is a beautiful person. I've seen her grow from a little girl to a beautiful young woman... Please be with her, her family, and all of us that love her so.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1376746/Holly-Bobo-Country-music-star-Whitney-Duncans-cousin-abducted-home.html#ixzz1JaxNsdzp