Updates on The Holly Bobo Case
The case of Holly Bobo's sudden disappearance has kept an entire community on edge for more than two years as family and friends hold out hope for her safe return.
The young nursing student was abducted from her family's Parsons, TN, home in Decatur County on April 13, 2011, and ever since, law enforcement and volunteers have devoted countless man-hours searching the woods and fields nearby.
Now, a new team of investigators led by Brentwood mom Sheila Wysocki is uncovering clues, possible suspects and even the probable route taken by the abductor both during and after the crime.
Bobo was last seen walking into the woods next to a man wearing a camouflage suit, and search dogs checking the area lost her scent near a logging road where a vehicle had likely transported her away from the crime scene.
But that's not where Bobo's trail ends.
"We believe he may have had a gun or knife, and they continued up this path. On the other side of these woods there is a logging road where you can easily park a vehicle. The dogs, we know, pursued and then stopped. Why would they stop right there? Because the odds are she got into a vehicle," said Mike, a Nashville cyberspecialist and member of Wysocki's team, Without Warning.
Bobo's abductor forgot to turn off her cell phone, so with the help of GPS tracking, the location of Bobo's phone - inside her purse - can be plotted on a map that traces a path through Parsons and through rural Decatur and Henderson counties.
"It sure seems to me you would have to know the area to get through the woods like this," said former LAPD Detective Lou Leiker. "One turn is the same as the next."
The path appears winding but deliberate. There are no turnarounds, and the abductor even stops at a remote cemetery for about 15 minutes, according to cell phone records.
"You'd have to know the roads not traveled. I believe you would have to know the community," Wysocki said.
Then, as if the abduction route needed any more credibility, there were genuine clues found all along the route: a lunch box here, a notebook there, and a receipt near Interstate 40.
Most surprising of all is the map shows the abductor appeared to head back toward the area near Bobo's home.
What does it all mean? Wysocki's team believes all evidence points to a local abductor who appears to have been driving around the back roads with or without Bobo for at least an hour.
The abductor likely knew the family's regular schedule and had been watching Bobo, waiting for when she was about to leave for class.
"Knowing the schedule of a family, probably watching or stalking her. They grabbed her, put her in the vehicle and took her on backroads. To me, that's the local theory," Wysocki said.
But just because the person was local does not mean Bobo was killed and hidden in Parsons. In fact, there is a very strong theory that she was abducted and, of all things, sold into slavery.
"Originally when we looked at the map, we thought they were heading to the interstate to do a pass-off, potentially, for sex trafficking," Wysocki said.
The investigators say Memphis is a big hub in sex trafficking, and that theory is a strong and disturbing possibility.
One final troubling piece of piece of evidence to digest is 11 days after Bobo's disappearance, her cell phone was found sitting right on busy Highway 641 north of Parsons, with the SIM card found just across the highway.
Plus, there are even more new clues still to be revealed.