CBSN

Man was waiting for Holly Bobo: Crime expert

Searchers have found some items belonging to Holly Bobo, but there is still no sign of thye 20-year-old nursing student. As the search for Bobo enters day four, new details are emerging about her sudden disappearance.

Bobo was last seen Wednesday morning by her brother outside the family's home.

Investigators initially said Clint Bobo saw the back of an unidentified man dragging his sister towards the woods as she was leaving for class. Now they say, someone walked her away, and that her brother called 911 after spotting blood outside the house.

Search for Holly Bobo grows desperate
Crimesider: $25,000 reward offered for missing Tenn. student
Photos: Missing student Holly Bobo

The man who was seen with Bobo outside her home is described as dressed in full camouflage clothing, approximately 5'10" to 6 foot tall, and from 180 to 200 pounds.

On Thursday, an army of 400 volunteers and local law enforcement officials combed through the nearby woods.

Investigators, CBS News Correspondent Betty Nguyen reported, say those searchers have turned up some of Bobo's belongings, including a lunch box.

Bobo's disappearance has shaken the tight-knit rural community about two hours northeast of Memphis. A $25,000 reward is being offered for any information relating to the case.

Nguyen added Holly's father says the person who took his daughter may very well have been someone who knew her routine.

Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, a crime scene analyst and professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, said the new evidence has given the search a direction.

He said, "Now we have a vector, that is a directionality. She was abducted from the home. They find the lunch box. They know that either the suspect or the suspect and the victim were headed in a direction. So now they can focus their search around that box, that area."

"Early Show on Saturday" co-anchor Rebecca Jarvis remarked, "We originally were told that her brother told police that she was pulled from the home, dragged into the woods by a man in camouflage. But now it sounds more like she was forced into the woods, forced to walk by her own. Is that change in story an indicator of anything, do you believe?"

Kobilinsky said that information raises red flags in the investigation.

"If you're an eyewitness, you're the last person to see the victim, now your story changes from dragging to walking? It raises some questions," he said. "But on the other hand, there's a lot of misinformation out there, and it could have been an Internet rumor. I just don't know. I think the TBI, the state police, are now saying she walked out with the perpetrator."

Kobilinsky said chances are also high that Holly knew the man well.

He explained, "Clearly, whoever did this waited until the father had left the house, as well as the mother. So, it's quite possible that he knew this - whoever did this - that she would come out of the house on her way to school at a certain time. He was waiting for her."

So will the police be looking at family members as suspects?

Kobilinsky said police are looking at everyone at this point in the investigation.

He said, "They're looking at schoolmates, they're looking at friends, they're actually, they're doing everything they can to generate information. Because there's so little known about this abduction."

In addition to interviewing people who knew Holly, Kobilinsky said police should be looking at her cell phone and computer for more information about who she contacted.

He said, "I think they need to find out from her friends if there was anything unusual that happened in recent time. Threats or something of that sort. I think the investigation is wide open. The most important thing right now is a thorough search."

Jarvis noted police are focusing on a four-mile wide area about six miles from where Holly went missing. But what could that mean?

Kobilinsky said investigators likely believe Holly and the man were on foot.

He said, "They're not in a vehicle, driving to another state. And the likelihood is high that that's the area that they will find them in. I must say that because so much time has elapsed, the longer that time interval lasts, the less likely they will have a successful return of Holly."

He added, "I'm hoping that they find her alive. But as time goes on that's less and less likely."