Who was Mollie Tibbetts and how did she die? – The Sun
IOWA resident Molly Tibbetts was brutally murdered while going out for a jog in July of 2018.
Her body was found on August 21 following a month-long search for her, sparking a national outcry from family and volunteers.
Who was Mollie Tibbetts and how did she die?
Mollie Tibbetts, 20, was a college student at the University of Iowa, majoring in psychology.
She worked at a children's day camp at Grinnell Regional Medical Center and was preparing for her sophomore year in college when she disappeared.
Tibbetts lived in Brooklyn, Iowa, and was caring for her boyfriend's dogs prior to her disappearance.
However, she never made it back home after going on her routine jog.
Tibbetts was allegedly fatally stabbed by illegal immigrant, Cristhian Bahena Rivera, who confessed to killing her in a panic after she threatened to call the police, according to detectives.
Authorities say Rivera concealed her body in a cornfield and directed them to where she was hiding, nearly five weeks after her disappearance.
When did Mollie Tibbetts go missing?
Tibbetts vanished on Thursday, July 19, 2018.
She was last seen near America's Highway of Death moments after sending her boyfriend a Snapchat selfie.
FBI and Iowa investigators concentrated their search on areas around the town that she was known to have gone to in the past.
The town of Brooklyn, Iowa, is home to less than 2,000 people and is located just off Interstate 80 which cuts through the US from New York to San Francisco.
It has been dubbed the Highway of Death due to many unsolved disappearances linked to the route.
She sent her boyfriend Dalton Jack a Snapchat selfie the night before she was reported missing, which he opened around 10pm.
Tibbetts was reported missing the following day when she failed to turn up for work.
Who is Cristhian Bahena Rivera, the suspect involved in Mollie Tibbett's death?
Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.
According to his Facebook page, Rivera is from Guayabillo, a community of fewer than 500 people in the Mexican state of Guerrero – around three hours’ drive from the resort city of Acapulco.
Investigators zeroed in on Rivera after obtaining footage from surveillance cameras in Brooklyn.
The footage showed a Chevy Malibu connected to Rivera driving back and forth as Tibbetts was running in the area.
An affidavit attached alleged that Rivera admitted to investigators he got out of his car and started running alongside Tibbetts, ultimately murdering her.
A conviction on first-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole in Iowa, which doesn’t have the death penalty.
Tibbetts' trial is officially underway as of May 19, 2021, just two years after her death.
What did Mollie's family say?
Her aunt Billie Jo Calderwood wrote on Facebook: “Please remember, Evil comes in EVERY color. Our family has been blessed to be surrounded by love, friendship and support throughout this entire ordeal by friends from all different nations and races.”
She later shared another user’s post which stated, in part: “Please do not compound the atrocity of what happened to her by adding racism and hate to the equation. … Do not turn #molliesmovement into something ugly.”
On September 3, 2018 Mollie's dad Rob Tibbetts "implored" politicians to stop using his daughter’s death to "advance views she believed were profoundly racist".
Rob wrote a column in the Des Moines Register as a reaction to a column by Donald Trump Jr sharing the same views as his father.
He said: “Don’t appropriate Mollie’s soul in advancing views she believed were racist."The act grievously extends the crime that stole Mollie from our family.”
Tibbetts went on to say that Mollie is not a “pawn in others’ debate” and asked for his family to be allowed to grieve “in privacy and with dignity.”
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