A reward has now been offered for information in the disappearance of 20-year-old University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts, who vanished on July 18 while dog-sitting at her boyfriend’s brother’s home in Brooklyn, Iowa. Police said they remain “hopeful” that Tibbetts will be found alive, ABC News reports.
“At this point, we don’t know her exact whereabouts but we continue to look. We are hopeful that she is still alive and so we will continue to think that way until told otherwise,” Richard Rahn, special agent in charge of the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Division of Criminal Investigation, told ABC News. “We’re doing everything we can to locate her and track her down.”
The T.I.P Rural Electric Cooperative in Brooklyn is offering a $1,000 reward, while Iowa CrimeStoppers is offering an additional $1,000, the Des Moines Register reports. The reward is offered for information that leads to an arrest or conviction in Tibbetts’ disappearance, the newspaper reports. Police have not confirmed that there is any wrongdoing in the case, and have been treating it as a missing persons investigation. But authorities have said that an abduction remains a possibility and becomes more likely as time goes on.
Tibbetts was last seen on the evening of July 18 while running in dark-colored shorts, a pink sports bra and running shoes. Tibbetts later sent text messages to her mother and a Snapchat to her boyfriend that he opened about 10 p.m. Her family and friends said she could also be wearing a red shirt and denim shorts she was planning on wearing to work at a daycamp on July 19. She was reported missing after she didn’t show up for work and did not respond to phone calls and messages.
Police have ruled out Tibbetts’ boyfriend, Dalton Jack, as a suspect in the case. He was out of town with his brother and brother’s fiancee at a construction job site in Dubuque, Iowa. Brooklyn is a city in Poweshiek County of about 1,400 people in eastern Iowa, located midway between Des Moines and Cedar Rapids.
Tibbetts is 5’3″ tall and weighs 120 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She was possibly wearing running clothes, like gym shorts, running shoes and a sports bra or high school athletic T-shirt, or could be in her work clothes, denim shorts and a red T-shirt. Anyone with information is asked to call the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office, at 641-623-5679 or email email@example.com.
Here are other updates in the case:
Tibbetts Was Doing Homework on Her Computer Late in the Evening on July 18, Her Family Says
Mollie Tibbetts’ family members told KCCI-TV that she was doing homework on her computer late in the evening of July 18, the news station reports. Police told the family that she was working on the computer, but did not provide a specific time, saying it could hinder the investigation.
Tibbetts had last been seen running around Brooklyn about 5:30 p.m. Police have obtained data from her FitBit, an activity tracker, and have said that could help them in the investigation. They have also been examining her other electronic devices and social media accounts.
“There’s really no clues,” Laura Calderwood, Tibbetts’ mother, told ABC News. “There’s a DCI agent who said she’s been in the business for 23 years and only one other case where she had so few leads. So I really can’t speculate. I’m just hoping for the best.”
Dalton Jack, Tibbetts’ boyfriend, told WOI-TV, “This is not like her. If this is her running off, nobody would’ve seen it coming. Nobody in the world. Not her family, not me — nobody would’ve ever guessed that she just take off and not tell anybody.”
Police Have Interviewed More Than 100 People, but Have Not Identified Any Suspects
Police have interviewed more than 100 people during their investigation into Tibbetts’ disappearance, but have not identified any suspects, KCRG-TV reports. They have also searched several locations.
“I anticipate we’re going to get more leads so I anticipate working through the weekend and do whatever we can to track her down and locate her,” DCI Special Agent Richard Rahn told the news station. He said they are not scaling back efforts to locate Tibbetts and believe she is still alive.
“At this time, no person has been identified as a suspect nor has anyone been arrested or criminally charged for her disappearance. The joint investigation by the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Iowa State Patrol, the Brooklyn Volunteer Fire Department and a host of local law enforcement agencies continue to look into her disappearance,” the Iowa Department of Public Safety said July 27 in a press release. “With the aide of the public, investigative leads continue to be investigated and a multitude of individuals have been interviewed. Additionally, a number of searches have been conducted to include ground, air and K-9 searches.”
On the Facebook page set up to help in the search, Finding Mollie Tibbetts, Stephanie Campbell, her boyfriend’s aunt who has been acting as a spokesperson for the family, wrote on July 29, “So many asking for updates for Mollie. Unfortunately we have nothing new to share. She is still out there somewhere if ANYONE knows ANYTHING even the smallest detail of where she could be PLEASE call! Please keep sharing her picture everywhere and please keep praying for her return home! Thank you all so much!”
A GoFundMe Has Been Set Up to Help Her Family Pay the Family During the Search
A GoFundMe has been set up to help Tibbetts’ family as they search for the missing University of Iowa student. Only one fundraising campaign has been authenticated by the family. Donations can be made here.
Nick Barry, who set up the campaign, said in a video explaining what the money will be used for, “Most of us can only imagine the devastation the family is going through right now and work is simply out of the question as they monitor phone calls and do everything they can to bring their little girl home. The friends of the family have put together this GoFundMe page to help alleviate some of the financial burden, because the bills do still come in. And it’s a way that we as a family can help them through this tough time right now.”
He added, “It doesn’t have to be much. $10 to $20 can go a long way and if you’re not in a financial position to give anything, a 30-second prayer is just as important to us. We also want to use this format to get the word out from coast-to-coast to keep our eyes and ears open to help Mollie and bring her home. … On behalf of the family and the entire town of Iowa, because they are one big family, thank you.”
As of July 29, more than $12,000 had been raised. You can read more about Mollie Tibbetts here: