• Mollie Tibbetts' Body Was Found 500 Yards Into Cornfield: 'He Tried to

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    The body of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts was found 500
    yards into a cornfield about 10 to 12 miles south from where
    police think she was abducted, an investigator tells PEOPLE.

    Mitch Mortvedt, assistant director of the Iowa Division of
    Criminal Investigation, says the Guernsey field was not owned by
    Yarbee Farms, the dairy farm that employed suspect Christhian
    Rivera, 24, but that Rivera “was familiar” with the area because
    he lived and worked a few miles away.

    Tibbetts, a 20-year-old psychology major at the University of
    Iowa, was found buried under parts of cornstalks, says Mortvedt.
    Her body was 500 yards from a gravel road and not visible from
    it, he says.

    “Corn … in Iowa this time of year is over eight feet tall and
    has that long skinny leaves as it grows and blossoms, and
    [Rivera] had ripped off a bunch of those off the corn stalk and
    just kind of laid them on her to try to camouflage her,” says

    Although investigators had searched nearby cornfields, Mortvedt
    says that particular cornfield hadn’t been searched until Rivera
    allegedly led them to Tibbetts’ body Tuesday.

    Authorities have not revealed when, exactly, Tibbetts was killed
    and Mortvedt would not comment on whether or not Tibbetts was
    held captive for a period of time. “At this point, we can’t talk
    about [it],” he says.

    Rivera is charged with first-degree murder in Tibbetts’ death,
    which preliminary autopsy results show was caused by “multiple
    sharp force injuries,” although Mortvedt says authorities are
    not currently providing more specifics.

    Rivera has not entered a plea to the charge, but his attorney
    has said he is presumed innocent, describing his client as a
    hard worker and “loving father” to his young daughter. At his
    initial court hearing Wednesday, Rivera’s bond was increased
    from $1 million to $5 million at the urging of prosecutors.

    Tibbetts went missing on July 18 after leaving her home in
    Brooklyn, Iowa, to go for a jog. Brooklyn is about 11 miles from
    southeast of Guernsey.

    At a press conference Tuesday announcing Rivera’s arrest, Rick
    Rahn of the Iowa DCI alleged Rivera confessed to circling around
    Tibbetts a few times with his car before he started running
    alongside her. Rahn said that Rivera confessed that at one
    point, Tibbetts told him to leave her alone, threatening to call
    the police.

    Subsequently, Rivera allegedly chased Tibbetts down and at some
    point said he blacked out, Rahn said.

    Rahn said Rivera allegedly admitted seeing Tibbetts previously,
    but he did not elaborate.

    Mortvedt tells PEOPLE that speculation that Rivera and Tibbetts
    might have known each other prior to her killing “isn’t
    something law enforcement has verified.”

    Rivera had no criminal record before his arrest.

    “All of a sudden he just does it,” Mortvedt says. “Who escalates
    to abduction, kidnapping and homicide that fast?”

    “That is part of the ongoing investigation,” Mortvedt says. “We
    want to dig into his background — and not just the last four
    weeks. Who is this guy? Where has he been? What has he done? How
    can we verify that?”

    https://people.com/crime/mollie-tibbetts-500-yards-cornfield- suspect-allegedly-tried-camouflage-her/

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