This was originally posted at our interim blog on Blogger on August 22, 2018.
From Fox News: A suspect in connection with Mollie Tibbetts’ murder is in custody and has been identified as a 24-year-old man living in the U.S. illegally, investigators announced at a Tuesday news conference.
Cristhian Rivera was charged with first-degree murder in Tibbetts’ death, officials confirmed.
Authorities said Rivera, of the rural Poweshiek County area, is being held on a federal immigration detainer. He’s believed to have been in the area for four to seven years.
The body of Tibbetts, a 20-year-old University of Iowa student, was found Tuesday in a field covered with corn stalks. Investigators said they used surveillance footage to track down Rivera. She was last seen around 7:30 p.m. on July 18 after she went for a jog around a neighborhood in Brooklyn.
Tibbetts’ family pleaded for her safe return and had remained hopeful she would be found alive. Her father, Rob, was returning home to the San Francisco area after spending weeks looking for his daughter, The Des Moines Register reported Sunday.
“The bottom line is somebody knows something,” Rob previously told Fox News, adding Brooklyn was a small city and “you can’t do anything there without someone seeing it.”
For the last month, investigators followed “hundreds” of leads — interviewing several hundred people and canvassing a nearby hog farm, cornfields and other properties for traces of the college student. Two items Tibbetts typically took with her — a Fitbit and cellphone — remained missing.
Investigators announced last week they were focusing the search on five locations in and around Brooklyn, which included a car wash just a block away from the city’s main commercial strip and a TA truck stop next to Interstate-80, which runs across the entirety of Iowa.
Brooklyn, a town of just 1,400 people, was shaken by Tibbetts’ disappearance. Blake Jack, the brother of Tibbetts’ boyfriend, told Fox News on Aug. 8 there was no sign of a struggle at the Brooklyn home she was staying in at the time.
Dalton, Tibbetts’ boyfriend of two years, said he believed the doors of the home where his girlfriend last stayed had been left unlocked. “It’s Brooklyn. You don’t lock your doors,” Dalton told Fox News. “We lock our doors now. Every night.”
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