Public Safety

Reports: Authorities return to farm that employed Mollie Tibbetts' accused killer

Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, arrives for his initial appearance on a charge of first-degree murder during at the Poweshiek County Courthouse in Montezuma, Iowa, on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018. Rivera is accused of killing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, arrives for his initial appearance on a charge of first-degree murder during at the Poweshiek County Courthouse in Montezuma, Iowa, on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018. Rivera is accused of killing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

Law enforcement officials returned Thursday to the farm that employed and housed the man charged with the slaying of college student Mollie Tibbetts, according to the Associated Press and the Des Moines Register.

The visit lasted about two hours, the Register reported, according to information from Yarrabee Farms in Brooklyn, Iowa. The newspaper reported that one or two agents from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation were on hand to assist federal authorities.

Officials appeared to be looking around the property and talking to workers, according to the AP, which first reported the visit.

The Gazette reached out to local and state authorities, but was unable to confirm the AP report.

Authorities have charged Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, with first-degree murder in the death of Tibbetts, who vanished while jogging July 18 in Brooklyn. Authorities said Rivera, from Mexico, had illegally been in the area for years before he abducted and killed Tibbetts. He is being held in jail until trial.

During an Aug. 22 news conference, the owners of Yarrabee Farms — the family of prominent Iowa Republican Craig Lang — confirmed that Rivera had been hired as a farmhand there, though he had presented false identification.

At the time they acknowledged they had not used the E-Verify system to cross-check his information, and were in the process of reconfirming the identities of the other farmhands they had hired.

The owners declined to reveal the false name that Rivera had worked under. Earlier this week, the AP, citing anonymous sources, reported the false name was John Budd.

l Comments: (319) 398-8238; kat.russell@thegazette.com

CONTINUE READING

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.