Investigators working on the disappearance of Mollie Tibbetts, have discovered the missing girl’s body and taken a suspect into custody. Cristhian Bahena Rivera has been arrested on first-degree murder charges. Rivera is responsible for leading investigators to the cornfield where her body had been hidden.
On July 18th, Mollie Tibbetts went jogging near her boyfriend’s Brooklyn, Iowa home. She was dog sitting for him while he was out of town. This was her typical routine, but she did not return from the run. When Tibbetts did not arrive to work the following day, co-workers contacted her boyfriend, and thus began the month-long search. Tibbetts was a psychology student at the University of Iowa.
What Rivera told police
According to Rivera’s account to investigators, he spotted Tibbetts while she was jogging. He approached her in is vehicle and followed her. He then proceeded to get out of the vehicle and run behind and alongside her while she jogged. This obviously disturbed Tibbetts, prompting her to get her phone and threaten to call the police.
Rivera says this angered him and he doesn’t remember what happened next. According to his statement, he “gets mad” and blocks out memories because of being “very upset.” He claims to remember nothing until he regained cognizance at an intersection, driving the vehicle again. Rivera turned the car around and entered a driveway leading to a cornfield.
He then realized that Tibbetts was in the trunk of his Chevy Malibu. He stopped and took Tibbetts out of his trunk and discovered blood on her head. He then dragged her away from the vehicle to a secluded area, picked her up and carried her deeper into the cornfield, then covered her body with cornstalks.
Investigators determined that Rivera was a potential suspect after obtaining security cam footage from a local in the area of the abduction. Both Tibbetts and Rivera’s car are seen in the video, which is how investigators tracked Rivera down. According to authorities, he did not fight or struggle and was compliant during his interview.
Police are working diligently to verify the remains found are in fact Mollie Tibbetts.
Rivera is being held under a substantial bond. He is a local worker in the area. He was currently employed by Yarrabee Farms, and in good standing. According to authorities and ICE, Rivera is potentially an illegal immigrant. ICE placed a detainer on Rivera after his arrest.