Elizabeth Smart Encourages Hope and Perseverance in Holly Bobo Search

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(Dyersburg, TN) At an event celebrating women’s health, kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart inspired hundreds of attendees by sharing her story.

Smart also sat down with News Channel 3 to talk about her support for Holly Bobo’s family as they continue to search for their daughter.

Bobo and Smart were abducted in similar ways, both by strange men who took them from their homes. In both cases, one sibling witnessed some of the event.

Bobo is still missing after 18 months, but Smart was found nine months after her kidnapping.

“It doesn't take a superhero to save somebody. It was two, everyday, average kinds of people that saw me. And because of their phone calls, I was able to be rescued. So never think that you're not going to be the one to rescue Holly, or you're not going to be the one who's going to see something,” Smart said.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is still investigating Bobo’s case and encourages anyone with tips to call 1-800-TBI-FIND.

There are two rewards totaling $335,000 for information leading to Bobo’s safe return.

Smart said her visit with the Bobos in Parsons, Tenn. earlier this year was a special moment.

“Being able to drive through the town and see all the pink ribbons up, and people's signs in the window saying, ‘We're still looking for you, Holly.’ ‘We're still searching, we haven't given up on you.’ That's what a community should be like,” Smart said.

Smart said that they should always maintain hope, no matter how small the odds.

She now promotes the work of radKids, a program teaching children skills to recognize harmful situations.

radKids teaches that nobody has the right to hurt you; don't have the right to hurt anybody else, including yourself; and that it’s not your fault.

Her story and her message inspired the hundreds of people attending the fifth anniversary of the Healthy Woman Club, a project by the Dyersburg Regional Medical Center to promote a strong body, mind and spirit.

She said that no one should ever judge or question the decisions and actions made by victims of abduction, or by their family members. Their experience is so traumatic and rare, that others who have not been through the same thing typically do not understand.

No matter how much time has passed, Smart encourages people to continue to search for Holly Bobo, saying she could come home.

“She could. She could be like me, or Jaycee Dugard, or Shawn Hornbeck, I mean there are lots of children out there who are waiting to be found.”