Murder of Mollie Tibbetts on topic


On July 18, 2018, American University of Iowa student Mollie Cecilia Tibbetts disappeared while jogging near her home in Brooklyn, Iowa. A month later, police identified 24-year-old Cristhian Bahena Rivera as a suspect in connection with the disappearance; surveillance footage showed Rivera's car following Tibbetts on her jog. Rivera led police to the body of Tibbetts in a Poweshiek County cornfield on August 21. He was charged with first-degree murder. On May 28, 2021, Rivera was found guilty of first-degree murder.Rivera's immigration status became a politicized issue after police, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement indicated that he had been in the United States illegally. The Trump administration and some Republicans, including Iowa governor Kim Reynolds, used the murder to argue for more restrictive immigration policies. Tibbetts's family denounced efforts to use Tibbetts's death for political purposes.
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