CLOSINGS: View Closings

Police find body believed to be Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts

Mollie Tibbets
Mollie Tibbetts, a 20-year-old University of Iowa student, hasn't been seen since going for an evening jog on July 18 in Brooklyn, a community of about 1,400 people.

DCI spokesman Mitch Mortvedt said Tuesday that he couldn't yet comment on any potential suspect in the case, saying only "there is nobody charged at this time."

Posted: Aug 21, 2018 8:19 AM
Updated: May 15, 2019 10:24 AM

TIMELINE: Disappearance of Mollie Tibbetts

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Investigators have recovered a body believed to be that of 20-year-old college student Mollie Tibbetts, who disappeared from her small hometown in central Iowa one month ago, police said Tuesday.

The body was discovered in rural Poweshiek County, which includes Tibbetts' hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said in a press release.

The agency called a 4 p.m. news conference to provide an update on the search for Tibbetts, saying investigators were working to confirm the identity of the body and cause of death.

DCI spokesman Mitch Mortvedt said Tuesday that he couldn't yet comment on any potential suspect in the case, saying only "there is nobody charged at this time." Hundreds of people have been interviewed by investigators, who have been inundated with tips from the public.

Investigators have said that foul play, including the possibility that Tibbetts was abducted, could be involved, saying that disappearing on her own would be inconsistent with past behavior.

Investigators were working Tuesday at a scene about 12 miles (19 kilometers) southeast of Brooklyn, where a government vehicle blocked the public's access to a gravel road. An SUV from the state medical examiner's office was seen leaving the area.

Greg Willey of Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa, a nonprofit that is administering an anonymous tip line and reward fund in the case, said he learned of the discovery of the body from a close friend of the Tibbetts family on Tuesday morning. Willey called it a tough but not unexpected end to the search for the University of Iowa student.

Investigators said Tibbetts was last seen July 18 in Brooklyn, a rural town of about 1,400 people, as she took a routine evening jog. It's unclear whether she returned to the home where she was dog-sitting for her boyfriend and her boyfriend's brother, who have said they were both out of town . She was reported missing by her family the next day, after she didn't show up for work at a day camp for children.

Tibbetts' disappearance set off a massive search involving dozens of officers from the FBI, as well as state and local agencies. They focused much of their efforts in and around Brooklyn, searching farm fields, ponds and homes. Investigators asked anyone who was around five locations , including a car wash, a truck stop and a farm south of town, to report if they saw anything suspicious on July 18.

Last week, Vice President Mike Pence met privately with the Tibbetts family during a visit to Iowa and told them that "you're on the hearts of every American."

At Brooklyn City Hall, city clerk Sheri Sharer said Tuesday was a sad day for the town.

"It never crossed our mind that she wouldn't come home safe," she said.

Willey's group has been publicizing a reward fund that raised around $400,000 for any tip that led to Tibbetts' safe return. He said the fund, which included more than 220 donations from individuals, will now likely be used for any information that helps police catch anyone responsible for her death.

"Once they catch their breath, this will turn into a weapon going the other direction, to catch the person who did it," he said.

Tibbetts, a psychology major, would have started her junior year this week in Iowa City, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Brooklyn. She was staying with her longtime boyfriend and working while home from school over the summer.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 276500

Reported Deaths: 3321
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin590031089
Ramsey24988472
Anoka19724213
Dakota19215176
Washington12538106
Stearns1226689
Scott753854
St. Louis740897
Wright663436
Olmsted610130
Sherburne512539
Clay445155
Carver409712
Blue Earth373511
Rice361431
Kandiyohi348215
Crow Wing316130
Nobles296028
Chisago28398
Otter Tail266615
Benton261940
Winona246128
Mower236722
Polk228621
Douglas219829
Morrison211621
Lyon193711
McLeod18879
Beltrami184615
Goodhue177626
Becker17559
Itasca168924
Steele16756
Todd165312
Isanti165015
Carlton153610
Nicollet146523
Freeborn13935
Mille Lacs132830
Le Sueur13219
Waseca129710
Cass12018
Pine11926
Brown117510
Meeker10797
Roseau9923
Martin98220
Hubbard97022
Wabasha9121
Dodge7850
Redwood78018
Watonwan7754
Chippewa7697
Sibley7094
Renville70818
Cottonwood7060
Wadena7006
Aitkin68923
Pipestone67018
Rock6439
Houston6152
Fillmore6050
Yellow Medicine56611
Pennington5356
Kanabec52911
Murray5283
Swift4976
Pope4820
Faribault4750
Stevens4442
Clearwater4356
Marshall4277
Jackson4091
Lake3584
Unassigned34356
Koochiching3325
Wilkin3275
Lac qui Parle3203
Lincoln3141
Norman3096
Big Stone2771
Mahnomen2494
Grant2346
Red Lake1903
Kittson1856
Traverse1330
Lake of the Woods871
Cook580

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 213603

Reported Deaths: 2193
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk31707324
Linn13442161
Scott1040375
Black Hawk10393127
Woodbury9932114
Johnson911635
Dubuque879290
Story647619
Dallas602856
Pottawattamie585166
Sioux351925
Webster335930
Marshall332942
Cerro Gordo326541
Clinton307737
Buena Vista291114
Muscatine270366
Des Moines270116
Plymouth259537
Warren258510
Wapello242871
Jones222212
Jasper206639
Marion194418
Carroll190920
Lee190315
Bremer182612
Henry17087
Crawford170615
Benton160315
Tama146340
Jackson13758
Delaware136221
Washington131313
Boone128811
Dickinson127510
Mahaska121327
Wright11625
Buchanan11009
Page10834
Hardin107510
Clay10624
Clayton10234
Harrison102328
Hamilton10157
Cedar101413
Calhoun10047
Mills9886
Fayette9768
Floyd96914
Lyon9668
Kossuth9464
Poweshiek93712
Butler9134
Winneshiek90310
Iowa88011
Winnebago87523
Louisa81316
Hancock8067
Grundy79710
Chickasaw7893
Sac7817
Cherokee7624
Cass75419
Appanoose7426
Shelby7265
Allamakee72411
Mitchell7184
Union7096
Guthrie70815
Emmet70623
Franklin68419
Humboldt6645
Madison6474
Jefferson6351
Palo Alto6064
Unassigned5950
Keokuk5397
Pocahontas5192
Howard5069
Greene4980
Osceola4941
Clarke4614
Davis4405
Ida43910
Montgomery43210
Taylor4312
Monroe42912
Adair4157
Monona3932
Fremont3463
Van Buren3364
Worth3360
Lucas3076
Decatur3000
Wayne2876
Audubon2831
Ringgold1892
Adams1551
Rochester
Overcast
33° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 26°
Mason City
Overcast
34° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 25°
Albert Lea
36° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 29°
Austin
34° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 27°
Charles City
Overcast
34° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 25°
Cloudy for Wednesday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events