Body believed to be missing Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts found

Frederick Owens
August 23, 2018

In a news conference Tuesday evening, investigators said they had not confirmed the body's identity but that they believed it was Tibbetts.

Investigators say Cristhian Rivera is not in the country legally, and they believe he came to the U.S. from Mexico.

Investigators had been searching for clues and conducting hundreds of interviews in the search for 20-year-old Mollie Tibbets.

He says if he could talk to his daughter, he would tell her to "hang on". Investigators said she was last seen on a routine jog through the streets of the city. First-degree murder carries a penalty of life without parole. "Rivera described hoisting Tibbetts on his shoulder, carrying her 20 meters, and covering her face up in corn leaves".

When previously asked if authorities suspect that Tibbetts was abducted, Winker said: "We don't know where Mollie is at right now". He led officials to the location Tuesday morning, where they located Tibbetts' body.

Rahn declined to give many details about Tibbetts' killing, citing the ongoing investigation.

In a press conference on Tuesday, authorities said Rivera had seen Tibbetts before, but couldn't comment on whether or not he was stalking her. She was reported missing the next day when she did not show up for work.

After his arrest, Rivera told authorities he saw Tibbetts running and "pursued her in his vehicle".

Tibbetts' boyfriend, Dalton Jack, said he received a Snapchat message from her the night she disappeared after she would have returned from her run.

After watching it for hours, investigators found clues that led them to Rivera.

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An Iowa man came forward two weeks ago claiming to have been the last person to see missing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts alive.

"I can't really speak to you about the motive", said Rick Rahn, special agent in charge at the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, according to CNN.

The psychology student vanished on 18 July while dog-sitting at the home of her boyfriend and his brother. He said she threatened to call the police, at which point he allegedly panicked and "blocked" his memory.

Rahn said Tibbetts' digital footprint, which included data from a fitness tracker known as a Fitbit, played a role in solving the case.

The next thing he remembers is being at an intersection in rural Poweshiek County and driving to a cornfield, court documents say.

Her family held out hope she was still alive, with her father Rob issuing a public appeal for her release.

Democrats and immigration advocates have said that by focusing on outlier criminal cases, Republicans and Trump are distorting the fact that immigrants are no more prone to criminal acts than the native-born population - and some studies have found they are actually less likely to commit crimes.

The grisly discovery marks the end of a five-week search for the University of Iowa student.

Her statement ended by saying Iowans "are angry that a broken immigration system allowed a predator like to live in our community".

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