Monday, April 18 2011 12:22 PM EDT2011-04-18 16:22:55 GMT
NEW TODAY: TBI Director Mark Gwyn has scheduled a press conference at 3:00 p.m. regarding the Holly Bobo search. Watch it live on WMCTV.com.More >>
MEMPHIS, TN -
(WMC-TV) - Roughly 250 people scoured a West Tennessee woods Monday looking for any sign of Holly Bobo, praying that she would be found safe and sound.
The group a 15 mile area along Natchez Trace State Park and Interstate 40 by horseback, ATV, and foot.
"Everybody is working really hard and the terrain on the horses is hard," searcher Jenny Potts said. "The terrain for people walking on foot is hard. It's difficult. People are exhausted and people need to be praying."
People drove from miles away to join the rescue effort.
Bobo disappeared last Wednesday morning around 8:00 a.m. Investigators say her brother last saw her walking into the woods with a man wearing camouflage holding her arm.
On Monday, the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency began using site-imaging technology to look for clues in local lakes and bodies of water, as investigators expanded their search door to door.
Police believe that whoever abducted Bobo is a hunter or someone familiar with the area near her home, which is surrounded by rugged woodlands.
A person unfamiliar with the area would have had a difficult time navigating it, authorities said.
Investigators have said that a car or all-terrain vehicle could have fled easily into woods behind Bobo's home that morning.
Police have asked people in the community to report who might have recently cleaned or sold a car or all-terrain vehicle.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies have since asked residents to take notice of anyone whose whereabouts were unaccounted for Wednesday morning when Bobo went missing.
"I believe it was probably somebody she knows," searcher Jeff Lewis said. "It's just all a guesstimate right now. They lived in a pretty remote area and most people know each other around here."
Meanwhile, searchers say they're not giving up until Holly Bobo is brought back home.
Also Monday, the reward for information leading to Bobo was increased.
"Governor Haslam has increased the reward by $50,000 for the arrest of conviction," TBI Director Mark Gwyn said. "There's $25,000 out there, you know, for any information regarding the whereabouts of Holly Bobo. So, a total of $75,000.
Gwyn said investigators have not given hope that Bobo will be found alive.
"We have no indication otherwise," he said. "We did find blood at the scene, but not enough to lead us to believe that it was a life-threatening injury, so we've got to just hope and pray that she is still alive."
Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. The AP contributed to this story.
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