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Crime & Courts

Tenn. Woman May Have Been Abducted in Home Invasion

Holly Bobo AP

These undated photos provided by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation show Holly Bobo. (AP)

PARSONS, Tenn. -- A 20-year-old nursing student who was last seen being dragged from her house by a man dressed in camouflage might have been abducted in a home invasion Wednesday, authorities said.

Holly Bobo's 25-year-old brother told investigators that he saw the man dragging his sister across the carport at her family home in the community of Darden in Decatur County and toward a wooded area, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said. Its violent crime response team was gathering evidence.

Since news 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, said Decatur County Mayor Michael Smith.

TBI said Bobo's brother was inside the house and the kidnapping was outside in the rural area of small, modest homes about 100 miles northeast of Memphis. A spokeswoman would not give more details on what the brother told them.

A dispatcher for the Decatur County Sheriff's Office said police used dogs and a helicopter in the search.

About 250 volunteers have come out to help, but the search had to be called off until it was light again Thursday, said Smith. Many had gathered at the rescue command post at Bear Creek Baptist Church in Parsons. Some brought their four-wheelers to cover more territory. Most didn't know much about what happened, only the little information they had heard from authorities.

Smith said the close-knit community has little crime, so word of this 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.

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 the young woman all her life and called her "a fine young Christian girl." He said the community response to her abduction has been exceptional. Bobo is 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 110 pounds. She was seen around 7:30 a.m. wearing a pink shirt and light blue jeans.

"They're searching, bringing food and holding prayer vigils," he said. "The whole community is praying for her safety and well-being."

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