A red shirt was found by a person mowing a lawn in rural Iowa, and it’s being investigated for a possible connection to missing Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts, Fox News is reporting.
Authorities have not confirmed the account, however, and it’s not clear whether the shirt was Mollie’s. However, the possible clue was one of the first to publicly emerge since the college student disappeared seemingly without a trace in Brooklyn, Iowa, earlier in July 2018.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Red Shirt May Be Similar to One Mollie Owned, Reports Allege
The possible clue in the case was revealed on August 3, 2018. According to The Washington Post, “Authorities said Tibbetts may have been wearing denim shorts and a red T-shirt when she disappeared.”
A person mowing the lawn near the Lincoln Wildfire Reserve found a red shirt, Fox News reported. Authorities have not confirmed this account. Although it’s not clear whether the shirt belonged to Mollie Tibbetts, according to Fox News, employees at the daycare center where she worked wear red shirts.
Previous reports indicated Mollie’s red work shirt might have been missing, leading some to theorize she was taken in the morning not at night. However, Kevin Winkler of the Iowa Department of Public Safety, said at a press conference that he was unable to confirm any items of Mollie’s had been found and her mother told UK Daily Mail that she found two of Mollie’s red work shirts in her house but is not sure if there ever was a third.
According to Who Radio, authorities have taken a general stance of declining to release any evidence they might have, with Winkler saying, “We recognize that it’s frustrating for everyone involved, but we believe it gives us the best opportunity to resolve this investigation.” The radio station said Winkler simply wouldn’t confirm or deny the report about the red shirt.
The shirt was found near a pig farm authorities had already searched, and they reignited the search in the area around the farm after the shirt’s discovery, Fox reported.
There is a $172,000 reward for information leading to Mollie’s whereabouts.
1. A Local Man Says the Police Questioning of Him Was a Waste of Time
Cheney lives in walking distance of pig farms searched by authorities in the disappearance of Tibbetts, the University of Iowa student who vanished in Brooklyn, Iowa, seemingly without a trace. Interest in nearby hog farms intensified after reports that a person found a red shirt that could possibly belong to Mollie. The FBI is also involved in the case.
Cheney told WHO-TV that he was questioned for two hours and didn’t remember what he was asked.
“I just thought it was a waste of time but oh well,” he told the television station, adding, “I don’t know who those two were but they took me down to the fire station Tuesday and questioned me for two hours. I don`t remember what they asked me.”
According to Crime Online, Cheney denied knowing Mollie or having anything to do with her disappearance.
Authorities have not called Wayne Cheney a suspect. However, his past criminal history may have helped draw their attention to him.
According to WHO-TV’s exclusive by reporter Justin Surrency, Cheney pleaded guilty in two previous stalking cases. The cases were from 2009 and 2014 and span two counties – Poweshiek and Marion, the television station reported.
One of those cases resulted in a protective order being filed against Cheney, Crime Online reported.
Cheney lives in Deep River, Iowa.
Mollie’s Family Has Gone Public Seeking Information About Her
Mollie’s mother, father, and boyfriend have joined police and others in trying to find the missing student.
Mollie was last seen jogging near her house but she sent her boyfriend a Snapchat later that night, so it’s possible she disappeared the next morning before work. Her boyfriend was out of town at work and Mollie was home alone dog sitting when she disappeared.
You can read more about the disappearance of Mollie Tibbetts here.
Previous Sighting in Missouri Was Ruled Out & Authorities Are Searching in Poweshiek County, Iowa
KCRG-TV reports that there was a large police search occurring for Mollie between Guernsey and Deep River in Poweshiek County on August 3, 2018. That’s a location in Iowa.
Authorities had said previously that they were scouring Mollie’s digital devices and social media presence – including her ever-present fitbit – for clues.
Those hoping to find Mollie alive had their hopes raised when it was reported that a person claimed to have seen a woman resembling Tibbetts in a Kearney Missouri truck stop.
However, it was later revealed that authorities had ruled that sighting out and say the woman in the truck stop was not Mollie Tibbetts.