UPDATE: Immigrant charged with murder in Mollie Tibbetts case

1 year 5 months 5 days ago Tuesday, August 21 2018 Aug 21, 2018 Tuesday, August 21, 2018 4:43:05 PM CDT August 21, 2018 in News
Source: AP
By: The Associated Press

MONTEZUMA, Iowa (AP) — Authorities said on Tuesday that they have charged a man living in the U.S. illegally with murder in the death of an Iowa college student who disappeared a month ago while jogging in a rural area.

Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Rick Rahn said that Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, was charged with murder in the death of Mollie Tibbetts.

Investigators say they used surveillance video in tracking down Rivera. The video showed Tibbetts, 20, jogging in a rural area near her hometown of Brooklyn as well as Rivera's car.

Police announced the charge at a press conference just hours after they found what they believe to be the body of Tibbetts in a field covered with corn stalks.

Tibbetts was last seen July 18 in Brooklyn, a rural town of about 1,400 people, as she took a routine evening jog. It's unclear whether she returned to the home where she was dog-sitting for her boyfriend and her boyfriend's brother, who have said they were both out of town . She was reported missing by her family the next day, after she didn't show up for work at a day camp for children.

Tibbetts' disappearance set off a massive search involving dozens of officers from the FBI, as well as state and local agencies. They focused much of their efforts in and around Brooklyn, searching farm fields, ponds and homes. Investigators asked anyone who was around five locations , including a car wash, a truck stop and a farm south of town, to report if they saw anything suspicious on July 18.

Last week, Vice President Mike Pence met privately with the Tibbetts family during a visit to Iowa and told them that "you're on the hearts of every American."
At Brooklyn City Hall, city clerk Sheri Sharer said Tuesday was a sad day for the town.

"It never crossed our mind that she wouldn't come home safe," she said.

Willey's group has been publicizing a reward fund that raised around $400,000 for any tip that led to Tibbetts' safe return. He said the fund, which included more than 220 donations from individuals, will now likely be used for any information that helps police catch anyone responsible for her death.

"Once they catch their breath, this will turn into a weapon going the other direction, to catch the person who did it," he said.

Tibbetts, a psychology major, would have started her junior year this week in Iowa City, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Brooklyn. She was staying with her longtime boyfriend and working while home from school over the summer.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Police are investigating a shooting between two cars, which started at a roundabout on Business Loop 70 Sunday... More >>
3 hours ago Sunday, January 26 2020 Jan 26, 2020 Sunday, January 26, 2020 3:07:00 PM CST January 26, 2020 in News
CALABASAS, Calif. - NBC reports Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna are among nine people who died in a helicopter crash... More >>
3 hours ago Sunday, January 26 2020 Jan 26, 2020 Sunday, January 26, 2020 2:22:00 PM CST January 26, 2020 in News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A former southwestern Missouri fire chief convicted last year of raping a young woman has been... More >>
4 hours ago Sunday, January 26 2020 Jan 26, 2020 Sunday, January 26, 2020 1:30:17 PM CST January 26, 2020 in News
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Health officials in Los Angeles County have confirmed a fourth U.S. case of the new pneumonia-like... More >>
4 hours ago Sunday, January 26 2020 Jan 26, 2020 Sunday, January 26, 2020 1:24:49 PM CST January 26, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia, Voluntary Action Center (VAC), and the Downtown Optimist Club are putting on their annual... More >>
6 hours ago Sunday, January 26 2020 Jan 26, 2020 Sunday, January 26, 2020 11:31:00 AM CST January 26, 2020 in Continuous News
KINGDOM CITY— A Callaway County Sheriff's Office deputy found a stole firearm, numerous "felony level controlled substances" and drug paraphernalia... More >>
7 hours ago Sunday, January 26 2020 Jan 26, 2020 Sunday, January 26, 2020 10:50:00 AM CST January 26, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Abortion is expected to play a key role in Missouri's 2020 governor’s race, when voters... More >>
7 hours ago Sunday, January 26 2020 Jan 26, 2020 Sunday, January 26, 2020 10:21:45 AM CST January 26, 2020 in News
BENTON COUNTY — A Blue Springs, Missouri woman is dead after a crash Saturday night. Andralee Taylor, 32, was... More >>
8 hours ago Sunday, January 26 2020 Jan 26, 2020 Sunday, January 26, 2020 9:20:01 AM CST January 26, 2020 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Boone County will celebrate its bicentennial in 2020, and one of the first efforts to create a... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, January 26 2020 Jan 26, 2020 Sunday, January 26, 2020 9:01:00 AM CST January 26, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- Singing, dancing, and speaking were all part of The Cultural Association of India's annual India Day celebration Saturday afternoon.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 5:05:00 PM CST January 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA— Officers with the University of Missouri Police Department arrested John T. McLiney, 19, on one count of... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 4:00:00 PM CST January 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Choral Arts Alliance of Missouri is holding its 5th Annual Unity Concert. The goal of the event... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 3:53:00 PM CST January 25, 2020 in News
FULTON - About 20 Fulton YMCA members kicked the cold Saturday by bundling up and running in the 4th annual... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 3:48:00 PM CST January 25, 2020 in News
BOONVILLE — The third annual Superfinn Autism Foundation Guns and Hoses Event was hosted at Boonville High School Saturday. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 3:10:00 PM CST January 25, 2020 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA- More than 100 people showed up for the 7th annual ROC 7K Trail run at Cosmo Park Saturday morning.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 3:04:00 PM CST January 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – Dozens of veterans showed up to All American Dental for free dental work Saturday. Leroy Strube, a... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 2:04:00 PM CST January 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Como Shorts Filmmaker Showcase hosts multiple local artists this weekend to present their films. The showcase... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 1:54:00 PM CST January 25, 2020 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The CoMo Short Showcase highlights local filmmakers and their original work in the community. The goal is... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 4:45:00 AM CST January 25, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 33°
7pm 36°
8pm 34°
9pm 33°
10pm 33°