Investigators have recovered a body believed to be that of a 20-year-old Iowa college student who vanished from a small town one month ago, a spokesman for a reward fund said Tuesday.
Mollie Tibbetts, 20, hadn’t been seen or heard from since July 18, when she went for her usual evening run in Brooklyn, Iowa, about 70 miles east of Des Moines. That night, she left a house where she had been dogsitting to go jogging, and she hadn’t been seen or heard from since. She was reported missing the next morning when she didn’t show up at work, officials said.
Greg Willey of Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa said he learned of the discovery from a close family friend of Mollie Tibbetts on Tuesday morning. Willey says he has no other details about the discovery, but called it a “tough” ending to the search for the University of Iowa student.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said Tuesday that a body was found in Poweshiek County and that investigators are working to confirm its identity. No information will be released until a 4 p.m. CT news conference, according to a division news release.
Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies had been involved in the search for Tibbetts and have received hundreds of tips, according to Crime Stoppers.
Willey’s group has been administering a reward fund that raised nearly $400,000 for any tip that led to Tibbetts’ safe return. He says the fund will now likely be used for any information that helps police catch any person 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’ father, Rob, who had been actively involved in the search, returned to the Bay Area over the weekend for “a break” at the behest of investigators, according to local media.
Mollie Tibbetts attended Corpus Christi Catholic School in Oakland for kindergarten and first grade.