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Investigator touts progress, no breakthroughs in missing woman case

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Holly Bobo was last seen on April 14, being led away from her Tennessee home
  • Authorities believe she was kidnapped, though they haven't named a suspect
  • Mark Gwyn, head of the state Bureau of Investigation, says new info is coming in
  • He says, "We have not given up hope that (we will reach) a conclusion ... soon"

(CNN) -- While not offering any breakthroughs, Tennessee's top investigator said Thursday that "we're gathering information every minute" in the case of a 20-year-old nursing student who police believe was abducted more than a week ago.

Authorities have been looking for Holly Bobo since she went missing April 14. Her brother told authorities he saw a man in camouflage leading her away from their home in the small town of Darden. The young woman was heading to nursing classes at the Tennessee Technology Center's Parsons campus at the time.

"There's new information that's happening moment by moment," Mark Gwyn, the director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, told HLN's Vinnie Politan. "We have not given up hope as investigators that we're going to come to some conclusion to this soon."

While there were no volunteer searches Thursday, law enforcement personnel continued to search certain areas and re-interview a host of people in the community.

Gwyn noted, too, that his bureau's crime lab would be examining evidence in the case through the Easter weekend.

He also said that investigators are keeping open minds as to what happened to Bobo. That includes looking at a reported attempted abduction in January involving a 31-year-old woman who, like Bobo, is blond. That occurred about 50 miles from Darden.

"The No. 1 thing that you can't do in an investigation like this is develop tunnel vision on one particular person and one particular incident," Gwyn said. "We'll look at all types of instances, where this same thing may have happened ... and see what we can gather from that."

An $80,000 reward -- which includes money from the state, local community and the Tennessee Sheriffs' Association -- has been offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the young woman's disappearance.

Authorities have yet to name any suspects in the case, nor have they released a description of the suspected kidnapper.

The Bobo case since rocked this largely rural swath of central Tennessee, from those who knew the young woman to others who have rallied behind the effort to find her.

Hundreds of volunteers -- some on horseback and foot, others on all-terrain vehicles -- have turned out in recent days to hunt for clues in Decatur, Henderson, Henry, Carroll and Benton counties. Many more have attended memorial services or offered supportive thoughts online via several groups on Facebook.

The searchers include Bobo's cousin, country singer Whitney Duncan, who this week described the 20-year-old woman to HLN's Politan as "perfect -- she's beautiful, she's sweet, she's funny."

"When you see Holly, you see a smile," Duncan, who gained national fame as a finalist on USA Network's "Nashville Star" reality competition, said of her cousin. "It's really sad ... She doesn't deserve this."