Mollie Tibbetts Found Dead: University Of Iowa Student Vanished Last Month
UPDATE (AUGUST 21, 2018):
BROOKLYN, IA — According to multiple reports, the body of missing college student Mollie Tibbetts, 20, was discovered on Tuesday.
Mollie's father, Rob Tibbetts, confirmed that the body is his daughter. Greg Willey, the vice president of Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa, also affirmed the identity of the body to reporters.
Details regarding the exact location and circumstances of the discovery have not yet been disclosed. No arrests have been made. A press conference is scheduled for this afternoon.
Mollie Tibbetts, a University of Iowa student, was last seen on July 18 going for an evening in her hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa. She was dog-sitting for her boyfriend, Dalton Jack, while he was out of town for work.
Jack reported Mollie missing after she failed to respond to messages and he returned home. Since then, Mollie's family, friends, and community have united and worked to find out what happened. This latest news looks to be just one tragic answer.
ORIGINAL STORY (JULY 25, 2018):
On July 18, University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts, 20, went out for regular evening jog and has been missing ever since. After a week of local searches have turned up nothing, the FBI and state investigators have taken over the case.
Mollie Tibbetts had been dog-sitting at the home of her 20-year-old boyfriend, Dalton Jack, who was working a construction job about 100 miles northeast in Dubuque.
Jack told authorities that Tibbetts send him a Snapchat photo at around 10 P.M. He said he didn’t remember the caption but the image indicated that "she is inside a house."
The next day, Jack drove home and reported Tibbetts missing after he hadn't heard from her and she failed to show up for work. Friends, family members, and hundreds of community volunteers immediately launched a massive search effort.
Now the feds and state agents are leading the effort to locate Tibbetts, but as Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (IDCI) rep Mitch Mortvedt said:
"We're still asking for the public’s help. We'd like to get any information we can. The more eyes and ears we have, the better … We are running down every lead that we get."
Mordtvedt said that investigators have developed a timeline leading up to Tibbetts’ disappearance. He also added that, even with scant evidence, authorities are "leaning more and more toward something happening against her will."
The area where Tibbets had gone jogging is surrounded by vast expanses of farmland and fields. Poweshiek County Sheriff Thomas Kriegel said that landscape poses particular challenges:
"We're surrounded by farm ground — corn and soy beans. Right now the corn is probably eight, nine feet tall. The only way you can search it is basically walk down every other row. It's difficult. Even the planes flying over have a difficulty looking down in the corn rows."
Investigators are using all available technology to try to pinpoint any sign of Tibbets. Dalton Jack believes Tibbetts would have electronic devices with her, saying:
"She probably has on her Fitbit because she never takes it off. She uses it for the sleep tracker and for all her runs and everything. She probably has her cell phone, but it's either off or dead, and we’ve tried calling it obviously and it goes straight to voicemail."
Laura Calderwood, Mollie’s mom, described the crisis as "excruciating" and said:
"[There are] no words to describe how you feel when you don't know where or how your child is. She is just such an outgoing, fun, loving life, loving person."
Mollie Tibbetts is described as having long brown hair and brown eyes. She stands at 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs about 120 pounds.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Poweshiek County Sheriff's Office at (641) 623-5679 or send tips online via Twitter to: @Poweshiekcosheriff.com