Public Safety

Cristhian Bahena Rivera to make his initial court appearance today

Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24 — facing a first-degree murder charge for killing Mollie Tibbetts — is expected to make his initial court appearance Wednesday at the Poweshiek County Courthouse in Montezuma at 1 p.m.

Rivera, who is an undocumented immigrant, led investigators to her body in a cornfield in rural Poweshiek County, investigators said Tuesday during a news conference.

Investigators first questioned Rivera on Monday, Aug, 20, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Rick Rahn said during a news conference.

Rivera faces a charge of first-degree murder, punishable by a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole. The case will be prosecuted by the Iowa Attorney General’s Area Prosecutors team, Rahn said. He is being held in Poweshiek County Jail on a $1 million bond.

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