Search continues for missing Tennessee nursing student

NASHVILLE, Tennessee Sat Apr 16, 2011 3:11pm EDT

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NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Reuters) - Some 300 searchers combed northern Decatur County on Saturday for a 20-year-old Tennessee nursing student who has been missing for three days.

Holly Bobo of Darden was last seen Wednesday morning being led by a man in camouflage into the woods near the family home in Darden.

"Everybody is dedicated to this search," said Kevin Cagle, director of the Decatur County Emergency Management Agency.

Searchers were using a helicopter to pinpoint areas to send search teams on Saturday after late-afternoon rain, wind and hail cut short the search on Friday, Cagle said.

"We have a couple of different command posts set up," Cagle said. "We've got ATVs, horses ... foot searchers."

Earlier reports were that Bobo -- cousin of country singer Whitney Duncan -- had been forcibly taken from her home and dragged across the carport and into the woods.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said on Friday the investigation since has found she was not dragged, but rather was led by her arm or hand into the woods. The bureau believes Bobo feared for her life and complied with the abductor.

Law enforcement officers have said Bobo's white lunch box was found on a creek bed eight miles from her home.

The bureau also said Friday that Bobo's brother saw her outside her house with a man on Wednesday morning at about the time she would normally leave for school. At the time, her brother thought the man was her boyfriend. Later, when he went outside, he saw blood and called police.

The bureau has said Bobo's brother and boyfriend are not considered suspects. It has not determined if the blood seen outside was the young woman's blood.

In an emotional news conference Thursday, the young woman's father, Dale Bobo, said he thought whoever did this had to know about the family's comings and goings.

(Writing and reporting by Tim Ghianni; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and David Bailey)

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