Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents executed search warrants in "various locations" Friday in connection with the 2011 disappearance of Decatur County, Tenn., nursing student Holly Bobo. At least one of them was just miles from her home.
TBI spokeswoman Illana Tate said in an email that she could not give addresses of the search locations and added, "to say we have a suspect in this case would be premature."
Bobo, a 20-year-old nursing student at the University of Tennessee at Martin, disappeared April 13, 2011, from her West Tennessee home. She was last seen by her older brother, Clint, who told police he saw her walking into the woods with a man wearing camouflage.
Police found blood in the area but not enough to suspect homicide.
"It's very frustrating that there are no answers, still, after 22 months," Karen Bobo, Holly Bobo's mother, told the Times Free Press just over a year ago.
TBI Director Mark Gwyn addressed media near the scene of a search in Decatur County on Friday afternoon.
"Early this morning, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents began executing search warrants in Decatur and surrounding counties involving the Holly Bobo case," Gwyn said in a briefing broadcast by Nashville's Channel 5 News from near a search site on Adams Lane in the Holladay community.
Gwyn said operations could continue for several days.
"We believe that there are people, individuals, who have vital information pertaining to the disappearance of Holly Bobo [and] we're asking you to come forward," the TBI director said.
He wouldn't talk about specifics of any of the search locations or whether an arrest was imminent.
"Hopefully we'll be able to return Holly home safely to her parents. That's our goal. We'll just have to see how all the information and evidence from these search warrants ... pans out," he said.
A prayer service is planned for today at Corinth Baptist Church from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST, according to a post on the Bring Holly Bobo Home Safe Facebook page.
A $250,000 reward is offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case. Anyone with information about the case is urged to call 1-800-TBI-FIND.
Contact staff writer Ben Benton at email@example.com or 423-757-6569.
Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...