• Man in the U.S. illegally charged with murder in the death of Mollie Tibbetts

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    IOWA CITY, Iowa - A 24-year-old man in the U.S. illegally has been charged with murder in the death of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts. Police said the man is being held in a federal immigration center. 

    Investigators believe they have found the body of Tibbetts, a University of Iowa student who was reported missing more than a month ago.

    The 20-year-old woman was last seen July 18, jogging in her hometown of Brooklyn in central Iowa.

    Court documents detail what a man charged with murder told investigators about the abduction and killing of Mollie Tibbetts.

    An affidavit filed Tuesday says the 20-year-old Tibbetts was running on July 18 in a rural area near Brooklyn, in central Iowa, when a car driven by Christian Bahena Rivera approached her.

    During questioning Monday, Rivera acknowledged making contact with Tibbetts, first by pursuing her in his car and then getting out and running beside her.

    Rivera told investigators he became angry when Tibbetts showed a cell phone and threatened to call police. He says he panicked and then “blocked” his memory. He says he does not recall what happened but found an earpiece from headphones in his lap and realized he’d put Tibbetts’ in his trunk.

    He opened the trunk and noticed blood on the side of her head.

    The affidavit says he carried Tibbetts’ body to a cornfield and covered her with corn stalks. When he was questioned by authorities, he led investigators to the site.

    Rivera has been charged with first-degree murder.


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