Suspect in Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts’ death was undocumented

Yesterday, the body of 20-year-old Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts was found in an cornfield. She had been missing since July 18th after going out for a run.

A suspect, Cristhian Rivera, has been arrested and charged with murder. He told police he tried to abduct her, then killed her in a moment of panic after she attempted to call for help on her cell phone.

From USA Today:

On the day of the attack, Rivera noticed Tibbetts jogging and briefly followed her in his black Chevy Malibu, a criminal complaint says.

Rivera told detectives he got out of his car and started “running behind her and alongside her,” according to the criminal complaint. Tibbetts then grabbed her phone and told him she was going to call the police.

At that point, Rivera “got mad” and panicked and blocked his memory, which is what happens when “he gets very upset,” according to the criminal complaint. Rivera told investigators he doesn’t remember anything after that until he arrived at an intersection.

He said he made a U-Turn, drove to an entrance of a field, pulled into a driveway and rode up to a cornfield, court papers said. He then realized her had earpieces in his lap, which made him realize that Tibbetts was in the trunk, according to the criminal complaint.

Rivera told officials he pulled Tibbetts out of the trunk and found blood on the side of her head, the complaint says. He dragged Tibbetts on foot from his vehicle to a secluded location in the cornfield, according to the complaint.

He told officials he then put her over his shoulder and took her 20 meters into the cornfield where he covered her with some cornstalks and left her face up.

It was also revealed that Rivera was undocumented and had been working/living in the area for approximately four to seven years. ICE  lodged an immigration detainer on Rivera shortly after his arrest on Tuesday.

President Trump acknowledged Tibbetts death at a West Virginia rally yesterday, saying “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’ve never happened. Illegally in our country.”

Oddly enough, the dairy farm where Rivera was employed is partly owned by Craig Lang, a former GOP candidate for Iowa Agriculture Commissioner.

Lang’s farm released this statement yesterday:

“First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Mollie Tibbetts,” it said. “This is a profoundly sad day for our community. All of us at Yarrabee Farms are shocked to hear that one of our employees was involved and is charged in this case. This individual has worked at our farms for four years, was vetted through the government’s E-Verify system, and was an employee in good standing.”

 

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