One Year Since Holly Bobo Vanished Has Been a “Nightmare”

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(Darden, TN) Almost one year after a 20-year-old nursing student was abducted from her rural Decatur County home, still no leads have been strong enough to find her.

Karen Bobo, her mother, has not returned to her teaching job at a local elementary school. Instead, she works on mailing flyers to churches, asking for prayers.

"The whole year has just been one continuous nightmare, that you go to bed with every night and wake up with every day," Bobo said.

On Friday, April 13, there will be a motorcycle ride, prayer vigil and balloon release in Holly's honor.

April 13 marks one full year since the abduction. In thinking back, Bobo recalls the chaos of the search and how the family felt overwhelmed.

She asks that people who gave tips to authorities in those few days call their tips back in again to 1-800-TBI-FIND. Bobo worries that in the struggle to make sense of what happened that day, some people wrote their tips on paper or merely told a passing police officer, but never called in an official tip.

In addition to TBI's $85,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible, there is also a $250,000 reward raised by private donations.

The quarter million dollar award is for information leading to Holly's safe return.

"I'll have a dream that'll seem real, like Holly's here. And I"ll wake up and realize she's not," Bobo said.

Karen Bobo showed News Channel 3 the exact spots in their garage where blood was found by Holly's parked Mustang. She also pointed out the area where Holly was last seen being led into the woods by a man in camouflage.

Holly's brother Clint had seen the two from the window in the back door. It was too far to clearly identify who was with his sister.

Thinking of that day, Bobo said, "All of us took off running into the woods." They followed the path, maybe 15 minutes after Holly was last seen.

But that chase, and the searches that followed, turned up only Holly's lunchbag and a few other pieces of evidence, which TBI did not want to describe.

It's unbelievable to the Bobos that one year later, they're in the same spot, still feeling no closer to reuniting with their daughter.

But Karen Bobo said she cannot give up, because Holly would never give up on them.

Sometimes Bobo watches old home videos to see Holly singing at church or dancing at a school recital.

"Hearing her voice again, and just seeing a smile on her face. It was like renewed hope," she said.

But when the video ends, the real person is still gone. It takes strength not to fall into pessimistic thinking, like how much longer they might wait without knowing where Holly is.

All the Bobos can do is ask for the public's support in calling in any information about unusual activity around the date of April 13, 2011. With that, and prayers, they continue to hope they'll see Holly's smiling face in person again.