PARSONS, Tennessee (Isabelle Zehnder reporting) — Nothing could stop some 3,000 people in Decatur County – not pouring rain, not power outages – from gathering together for a candlelight and prayer vigil to mark week one of Holly Bobo’s abduction from outside her Parsons, Tennessee home – volunteers are expected to be out in force again Friday, looking for clues into Holly’s disappearance.
Soon after the vigil began local news anchor Will Nunley said, “If the power goes out in here, thousands of candles are ready to light the way.”
Seconds later the power went out as thousands began to calmly sing “Amazing Grace” by candlelight. Power resumed just as the service ended.
The crowd cheered as a makeshift PA system was powered by a nearby media truck. Prayers and preaching continued in candlelight.
Newschannel5.com’s Heather Graf said that even with no lights, no music, and no audio equipment “this community once again persevered.”
Nunley was present at the vigil Wednesday evening and worked to keep the public informed via Twitter. He tweeted that a number of community churches encouraged their worshippers to attend the candlelight vigil instead of their usual gatherings.
The vigil was held at the fairgrounds. It was said to have been near capacity 30 minutes before the prayer service was scheduled to begin.
At about 7:45 p.m. the band from Holly’s home church began leading the music –they improvised with no power. Nearly all local, regional, and national media networks were present, Nunley reported.
As the service ended power was restored. Holly’s classmates took the stage and were recognized.
The sheriff, who was scheduled to address the crowd, did not do so. Instead, a family spokesman expressed heartfelt thanks on behalf of the family, Nunley reported.
A worshipper commented, “This is the most powerful movement I have every witnessed.”
An officer said, “Let’s rest and return with force Friday.”
Last Wednesday morning Holly did the same thing she did every day – she headed off to school at about 7:30 a.m. Her 25-year-old brother, Clint Bobo, saw her being led into the woods outside their home by a man dressed in full camo. Clint believed the man was Holly’s boyfriend, Drew.
Police surmise now that Holly was forced to walk into the woods by her abductor, fearing for her life.
Many people who have read Holly’s story have commented that they would find it odd to see a man outfitted in camouflage clothing at 7:30 in the morning. But to those living in Decatur County, there’s nothing odd about it.
Sometime later Clint went outside and noticed Holly’s car still in the driveway and blood on the ground. He became alarmed and immediately called 911.
Another 911 call was made by a neighbor who claimed she heard Holly scream. Some have questioned why she was the only one to hear Holly screaming.
The Bobo’s home is located on 2.09 acres bordering thick woods. Judging from a map of their property, there does not appear to be another home close by. This could explain why only the neighbor heard Holly’s screams.
There has been a sea of online rumors accusing Clint of having something to do with his sister’s disappearance. His family is coming to his defense, saying he passed a polygraph test and had been cleared by police.
The director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations Mark Gwyn stated no one has been cleared in the case. He’s also said there are no suspects or persons of interest at this time.
TBI spokeswoman Kristin Helm said in an email to me on Wednesday that they are not going to release information about who has taken a polygraph test.
As long as this is an active investigation, much information in this case will be held close to the chest and not released to the public. This is not unusual.
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Holly Bobo Abduction: 3,000 attend vigil, searchers will be out in force Friday