LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - The sheriff of Livingston Parish says investigators still do not know what happened to a middle-aged Holden woman who mysteriously disappeared from her home 10 years ago.
Sheriff Jason Ard was joined by family members of Barbara Blount for a news conference Tuesday at the Livingston Parish Courthouse to ask anyone with information about the case to come forward.
"It has been 10 years and we still don't know what happened to Barbara Blount," Ard said during the news conference.
Investigators say Blount went missing around mid-day on Friday, May 2, 2008, from her home at 35580 Hwy 1036, in Holden, LA. The sheriff's office was alerted to her disappearance later that evening.
Deputies found no obvious signs of foul play when they arrived at Blount's home that day.
"[There were] no signs of forced entry. The backdoor was open. Pots were stacked on her kitchen floor. We know she was intending to clean that day," Ard said.
"[There was] no appearance of a robbery. [It] appears that someone lured her from her residence, someone maybe she knew," he added.
A torrential rainstorm hampered the search effort in the days following her disappearance.
"The whole area was covered with water," Ard said.
Blount's vehicle was found about a quarter mile north of her residence. It was parked on a hunting club road in a wooded area. Investigators said it had rained so much that the car's floorboard was covered with water.
Ard, who was not the sheriff of Livingston Parish at the time of Blount's disappearance, said deputies canvassed the entire area around Blount's home and interviewed everyone with a possible connection to her.
The sheriff's office received assistance from Louisiana State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating leads.
Volunteers helped deputies with the search for Blount in the days and weeks after her disappearance.
Deputies searched both wooded areas and waterways of Livingston Parish but did not find her body, Ard said.
The sheriff said he hopes Tuesday's press conference will affect someone's conscious.
"Someone knows something and we're coming to you that if you know something to come forward, to contact crime stoppers, to contact Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office," Ard said.
He also hopes advances in DNA technology will help "breathe new life into the case."
"This is one of those cases that sticks with you, you know? I think we all – including the family – just want answers and we don't intend to stop until we get some," Ard said.
Family members of Barbra Blount have not given up hope in finding out what happened.
"It's very hard to be here today. It just like opens up the wounds all over again today. They're there every day. They don't go away," Blount sister, Sarah Baughman, told reporters.
"If there's anybody out there that knows anything, please come forward because we need answers is what we need," Blount's daughter, Kristie Thompson said.
"All Aunt Barbara ever wanted was grandchildren and whoever did this to her robbed her and her family of the joy of raising her four grandkids," Blount's niece, Suzanne Honeycutt said.
"We are begging and pleading with anyone. If you know any information or have anything that you can share with the detectives and the captain working this case, please reach out," she added.
Barbra Blount is described as 5'7" tall, weighing 150 pounds, with green eyes and brownish grey hair.
Anyone with information on the Blount case is asked to call the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office at (225) 686-2241 x1 or Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-STOP (7867).