Mollie Tibbetts, a 20-year-old missing Iowa woman, has been missing since July 18 from her home in Brooklyn, Iowa. A body believed to be Tibbetts was discovered on Tuesday, Greg Willey, the vice president of Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa, told AP. In a press release, authorities confirmed that a body was found but said they were working to confirm the identity.
Fox News reported that “The body of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts, who vanished more than a month ago, is believed to have been found, two sources told Fox News on Tuesday.” There was no further information given about the cause of death, or who found Mollie’s body, or where exactly in Iowa her body was found.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Reward Money Topped Local Records & Will Now Be Used To Help Capture Any Suspects Linked to her Death
A reward fund meant for information leading to her safe return reached nearly $400,000, breaking local records, according to ABC7. Willey said that money will now go toward information leading to the capture of any suspects.
The reward stands as the largest reward ever for Crime Stoppers in the state, the group told Fox News. The reward steadily climbed over the last month as investigators continued to narrowed their focus to a handful of locations in and around the area of Brooklyn, Iowa, where she was last seen.
The Crime Stoppers reward, which stood at $385,718 on August 15, grew substantially in the past two weeks, since the Tibbetts family joined forces with the organization.
Tibbetts’ Body Was Found in Iowa, But The Exact Location Hasn’t Been Released
Fox News also reported that Mollie Tibbetts was found dead in Iowa. As of last week, investigators narrowed their focus to areas near where the woman disappeared. However, further information about the location was not yet revealed. Mollie’s body was found on August 21, 2018, reports said.
Tibbetts went missing on July 18 from Brooklyn, Iowa, while dog sitting at her boyfriend’s brother’s house. She was last seen jogging around 7:30 p.m. The circumstances surrounding her disappearance are not clear; while Tibbetts was not seen after the run, she did talk to her mother and her boyfriend in the hours after it. Police do not know when she vanished, or if she went for a pre-work run in the morning on July 19.
Tibbetts’ family reported her missing on Thursday, July 19, after she didn’t show up for work and stopped responding to calls and messages. Her phone was going straight to voicemail, he family said. Tibbetts works as a day camp intern at Grinnell Regional Medical Center, according to her Facebook page. While her family originally thought she went missing that Wednesday night, they now think she might have disappeared Thursday.
Her boyfriend Dalton Jack also suspected an issue Thursday morning. “I was the one who threw red flags,” Jack told KCRG-TV. “She hadn’t called in. I looked at my phone and noticed I texted her good morning that morning and she hadn’t looked at it so I got ahold of her friends and family.”
3. A Former FBI Profiler Doesn’t Think Mollie Was Kidnapped
Tibbetts may have gotten into a vehicle with someone she either knew or someone who didn’t seem threatening, according to a theory by former FBI profiler Mary Ellen O’Toole.
Fox News requested O’Toole review the previous reporting on the case, who said “If she was just kidnapped, it would be a hard feat to pull off.”
“To have a complete stranger to come into a small town like this, someone would have come forward and mentioned that they’ve seen this person,” O’Toole, a former FBI profiler and director of the forensic sciences program at George Mason University told Fox News. “She was likely not kidnapped. She either got into the car of someone she knew or had a relationship with, or it was someone who had a non-threatening demeanor.”
O’Toole also told Fox News that it was unlikely that Tibbetts ran away from home. Tibbetts’ mother told KWWL-TV that her daughter has never gone missing in the past and wasn’t acting strange in the days leading up to her disappearance.
“She doesn’t sound like the type of girl who would run away and start a new life,” the former FBI agent said. “If she is as close to her mom and dad and others, she wouldn’t have just run off. It’s just not seen as something that happens.”