U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst of Iowa today released the following statement regarding the announcement from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation on the murder of Mollie Tibbetts, a University of Iowa student who disappeared on July 18, and the arrest of a suspect believed to be residing in the U.S. illegally.
Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, has been charged with first degree murder in relation to the disappearance of Mollie Tibbetts.
Authorities say shortly after Tibbetts was reported missing, they obtained video footage from an area on the east side of Brooklyn.
An autopsy to determine when and how the woman died is pending.
Tibbetts was studying psychology and wanted to get a Ph.D. and write books, her father said.
Rahn said that investigators had talked to hundreds of people and received more than 4,000 tips, but the break in the case came within the last two weeks when they found someone with a security camera system while canvassing a neighborhood.
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Yarrabee Farms, the Iowa farm that employed the suspect charged with killing Mollie Tibbetts, defended its vetting of Cristhian Bahena Rivera late Tuesday.
She had been staying at Jack's house at the time to watch his dogs, and he raised the alarm after she failed ot show up for work the next day. Rivera next remembers seeing her earphones on his lap, and taking her body out of the trunk of his auto, it said.
Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations special agent Rick Rahn said in a press conference Mr Rivera is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico. Those areas reportedly included her boyfriend's home in Brooklyn, a vehicle wash, a truck stop, a farm more than three miles from downtown Brooklyn, and another farm more than six miles away.
The remote area where the body of missing Iowa university student Mollie Tibbetts was found Tuesday. He continued to pursue her and then abducted her, Rahn said.
"I'm sure you've driven around the area and it's a rural county and there are a lot of fields, woods, ditches", he said.
Dozens of law enforcement officials from local, state and federal agencies were involved in the investigation after the disappearance of Mollie Tibbetts, 20. He led officials to the location Tuesday morning, where they located Tibbetts' body.
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"Our hearts go out to the Tibbetts family and to the Brooklyn community". They focused much of their efforts in and around Brooklyn, searching farm fields, ponds and homes.
Police established a map highlighting five locations of interest however it's unclear if Tibbett's body was found in any of those locations.
Rivera, an undocumented immigrant, is being held on $1 million cash bail.
Rahn told reporters he could not release information about how Tibbetts was killed.
At a rally in Charleston, West Virginia, President Trump referred to Tibbetts' death - which hasn't officially been confirmed - and called the nation's immigration laws "a disgrace".
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