Neighbors of Mollie Tibbett reportedly turned over surveillance footage that showed the young college student jogging by while a dark car stalked her. That video proved to be the key in cracking the case to Tibbetts disappearance.
Unfortunately, the weekslong search for the 20-year-old Iowa student came to a grizzly end as police arrested an illegal immigrant in connection to the discovery of her body.
According to RWN, the charge was filed more than a month after Tibbetts went out for a jog and disappeared — and days after investigators searching for the missing Iowa college student said they were focusing their efforts on five locations.
For 34 days, federal, state and local authorities had scoured Poweshiek County for Tibbetts and sifted through electronic data from her Fitbit, cellphone and social media accounts for any clue about what happened to the woman who was last seen alive while going for an evening run. They’d also interviewed nearly 1,500 people.
Police arrested Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, on first-degree murder charges. Authorities have yet to disclose the motive behind Tibbetts murder but Rivera allegedly lead police to her body.
The suspect is an undocumented immigrant who authorities believe has been in the area for four to seven years, Rahn said. Charges were filed in district court in Poweshiek County and bail was set at $1 million. If convicted Rivera could get life in prison without parole. Iowa does not have the death penalty, CNN reported.
President Donald Trump referred to the case while speaking at a rally in Charleston, West Virginia:
“You heard about today with the illegal alien coming in very sadly from Mexico. And you saw what happened to that incredible beautiful young woman. Should have never happened. Illegally in our country,” he said. “We’ve had a huge impact but the laws are so bad, the immigration laws are such a disgrace. We’re getting it changed but we have to get more Republicans.”
Tibbetts, a University of Iowa student, was reported missing after she failed to respond to messages from her boyfriend, Dalton Jack, and did not show up for work. She was last seen jogging around Brooklyn around 7:30 p.m. on July 18 and was staying with her boyfriend and working while home from school over the summer. She would have started her junior year of college this week.
Tibbetts’ family pleaded for her safe return and had remained hopeful she would be found alive. Rob Tibbetts was returning home to the San Francisco area after spending weeks looking for his daughter, The Des Moines Register reported Sunday.