PARSONS, Tenn. (WKRN) – Searchers in western Tennessee were looking for a nursing student Thursday who was last seen being dragged from her house by a man wearing camouflage in what authorities described as a home invasion and abduction.
About 50 people had gathered in Parsons to resume the search for Holly Bobo, 20, after about 250 volunteers searched the rural area around her home Wednesday.
Bobo’s 25-year-old brother told investigators he saw a man dragging her across the carport at her family’s home and toward a wooded area Wednesday morning, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said.
Bobo’s brother was inside the house and the reported kidnapping happened outside.
A TBI spokeswoman would not give more details of what the brother told them.
“We would never expect anything like that,” Decatur County Sheriff Roy Wyatt told the Associated Press, “and I think that’s why it is so devastating to all of us.”
Investigators are looking into the possibility that someone may have checked out Bobo’s home before the abduction and are asking neighbors to report any unusual people or cars in the area.
Since news of the case spread, neighbors and people in nearby communities have poured out to help search, bring food and support family members who are holding together reasonably well, Decatur County Mayor Michael Smith said.
Authorities used dogs and a helicopter in the search Wednesday.
Bobo is five feet, three inches tall and weighs 110 pounds. She was last seen wearing a pink shirt and light blue jeans.
Smith said the close-knit community about 100 miles southwest of Nashville has little crime, so word of the abduction has come as a shock. Parsons has about 2,500 residents.
Bud Grimes, a spokesman for the University of Tennessee at Martin, said Bobo was studying to be a licensed practical nurse through the Tennessee Technology Center. She was taking classes at the university’s extension campus in Parsons, but was not a UT Martin student.
Bobo’s mother is an elementary school teacher and her father works for a tree service company.
Courtney Jeffreys, 20, went to school with Bobo since preschool and said she loves animals and always had a lot of different kinds of pets growing up.
“She is just a really sweet girl,” Jeffreys said.
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.
Bobo’s pastor, Don Franks, said he has known her all her life and said she is “a fine young Christian girl.” He said the community response has been exceptional.
“They’re searching, bringing food and holding prayer vigils,” Franks said. “The whole community is praying for her safety and well-being.”
*The Associated Press contributed to this report.