Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Cold Case Update: Holly Bobo

April 22, 2013, update: Investigators have concluded that the purse found by dogs last week does not belong to Holly Bobo. Holly’s mother was shown the purse by TBI agents and confirmed that it wasn’t her daughter’s. Sadly this seeming movement in the case of missing/endangered adult Holly Bobo, turns out to have been just a false alarm.

For more on the case read below.

A card with details of Holly Bobo's case.

A card with details of Holly Bobo's case.

Originally Published April 18, 2013

Nearly two years to the day after missing Tennessee nursing student Holly Bobo was abducted from behind her home, a neighbor’s dog has found what investigators are saying is Holly’s purse. The dog reportedly found the purse on April 17, 2013, and returned it to its owner, who notified authorities. The purse was reportedly turned inside out. The find prompted TBI to spend the next day searching a heavily wooded area for more clues. reports that Holly’s mother, Karen Bobo, is finding investigators’ reluctance to divulge any further information to Holly’s family upsetting.

Holly Bobo, 20, was last seen in Parsons, Tennessee, the morning of April 13, 2011, by her brother Clint as she left for school. He watched as a man in camouflage, who he thought was Holly’s boyfriend, led the nursing student into the woods behind the home. In 2011 John Mehr of the TBI described the abduction, “He actually had an arm holding her, so we feel she knew she was in fear of her life, so she was compliant with his commands.”

Clint soon grew worried and called their mother. Both the mother and a neighbor, who heard a woman’s screams around 7:30 a.m., called 911. By the time investigators arrived, the only evidence left of Holly and her abduction, which investigators believe was premeditated, was her cell phone and lunch bag, found behind the family home, and a pool of blood next to the carport.

Holly’s family has not given up on her safe return.

Holly Bobo is described as a blond, white female, 5′-3″ tall, weighing 110 pounds. She was last seen wearing a pink shirt and light blue jeans. Her abductor is described as male, 5′-10″ tall and weighing around 200 pounds.

Anyone with information on the case is urged to call the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at 615-744-4000 or 1-800-TBI-Find. Anonymous tips can be emailed to

A $250,000 reward is being offered for Holly’s safe return and an $85,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for her disappearance. More information is available at There is a Facebook page for Holly.

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