Immigrant charged with murder of missing Iowa woman, Mollie Tibbetts
An immigrant who is in the U.S. illegally has been charged with murder in the death of Mollie Tibbetts, authorities said in a press conference, according to the Des Moines Register.
Cristhian Rivera, 24, told police he approached the University of Iowa college student while she was running, but she threatened to call 911 and he blacked out, according to the Register. Police previously said Tibbetts was last seen during an evening run.
Rivera entered the U.S. illegally, the Associated Press reported. He has lived in the area of Tibbett’s hometown for about four to six years, the Register reported.
Investigators said they used surveillance video to track down Rivera, ABC7 reported. After questioning Rivera on Tuesday, the man led investigators to Tibbett’s body in a field, the station reported. An autopsy of the body, which is not yet confirmed to be Tibbetts, is scheduled for Wednesday, according to ABC7.
Tibbetts, 20, had been missing for more than a month, and was believed to have been found dead, a law enforcement source confirmed to The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Greg Willey of Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa told the AP he learned that her body had been found from a close family friend of Tibbetts’ on Tuesday morning.
Tibbetts was reported missing after she was last seen on a run in Brooklyn, Iowa, on July 18, authorities said in a Facebook post on the city’s page. Brooklyn was her hometown of about 1,400 people. She was wearing gym shorts, a black sports bra and running shoes.
Before Tibbetts vanished, she had been dog-sitting her boyfriend’s dogs, the AP reported.
Tibbetts and her boyfriend, Dalton Jack, had been dating for three years, KCRG reported. Jack said he and his brother were both out of town, but he told the station he had opened a Snapchat message from Tibbetts at about 10 p.m. the night she went missing, and it showed she was inside the home watching his dogs.
The AP reported it is unclear whether she ever returned back to Jack’s home after the evening jog.
Last week, law enforcement officials confirmed they would be focusing on five different areas where they believed Tibbetts might have been, The Des Moines Register reported. The sites, all near her hometown, included a truck stop, a car wash, her boyfriend’s home and two farms, according to CBS.