Holly Bobo Search: Police Make 'Significant' Find in Hunt for Missing Woman

Nursing student was last seen being led into the woods by an unknown man.

ByABC News
April 24, 2011, 8:18 PM

April 24, 2011— -- Volunteers searching for Holly Bobo, the Tennessee woman who was snatched from her home and led into the woods by a camouflage-wearing stranger, found a "significant" item, the Decatur County sheriff said.

Officials said they could not disclose what it was that was recovered because that would jeopardize the integrity of the investigation.

But the discovery has fueled their search in Northern Decatur County, and was based on a tip that came in during a phone call, the sheriff said.

Investigators have said they believe Bobo's abductor lives in or near the 20-year-old college student's town of Parsons, Tenn., and have asked her neighbors to report any unusual activity or a break in peoples' routine those noticed in recent days.

The reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever abducted Holly Bobo is up to $80,000, including $50,000 from the state, which was announced by Gov. Bill Haslam last week, and a reward offered by Bobo's community.

"The person responsible for Holly's disappearance lives in the area," said Mark Gwyn, director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. "Because of the terrain, you have to know where you're going, entrances and exits. We feel the person is in the community. We're asking the community if you know someone who has changed their routine, please let us know."

Police have collected several pieces of evidence in the woods near Bobo's home, but Gwyn said it could be days before those objects could be analyzed and positively linked to Bobo.

In the meantime, the only evidence police have found and made public were Bobo's lunch purse and some blood.

Gwyn said it is possible Bobo's abductor led the woman to a vehicle left on a road, accessible through the woods, and drove away.

He said investigators still believe Bobo is in the state, but the FBI would get involved if there was evidence to suggest otherwise.

Among those helping to search for Holly is her cousin, Whitney Duncan, a country music singer who today made a tearful plea today for the nursing student's safe return.

"We just want her back. If anybody knows anything... any details, anything weird that they've seen that might possibly lead to finding her, I hope they come forward with that," Duncan said last week on "Good Morning America."

Duncan said that she and her family members have been unable to sleep since April 13, when Bobo's 25-year-old brother saw a man dressed in camouflage lead Bobo into the woods. Bobo's brother wasn't alarmed until he spotted blood in the driveway.

Holly Bobo's Abductor Familiar With Rural Area Where She Disappeared

Duncan described her missing cousin as a homebody and said that she and Bobo are as close as sisters.

"Holly is, she is beautiful, she is sweet, she is a good Christian girl...kind of shy, quiet until you get to know her. She is funny and sweet and amazing," Duncan said through tears.

More than a thousand people have volunteered to help search the dense woods for any sign of Bobo.

Investigators have not ruled anyone out as a suspect in Bobo's disappearance and are in the midst of analyzing key evidence, although police had earlier said that Bobo's brother -- the last person to see her -- and boyfriend are not suspects.

Some of that key evidence includes the 20-year-old nursing student's lunch box found miles from her home. The other evidence being analyzed was found in the woman's driveway and includes blood on the ground and duct tape with blond hair stuck to it.