Public Safety

Family points to evidence that Mollie Tibbetts was using computer for homework the night she disappeared

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Details emerged over the weekend that indicate Mollie Tibbetts, the 20-year-old University of Iowa student who went missing July 18 from Brooklyn, Iowa, may have used her computer before she disappeared.

Family members told area news outlets that evidence revealed Tibbetts had been doing homework on her computer the night she vanished.

Rick Rahn, special agent in charge with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said he could not discuss the details as it could harm the investigation.

“We have what we believe to be a solid timeline, but I am not able to discuss that timeline in detail as it pertains to our investigation,” he said.

Over the weekend, Rahn said there were more than 30 agents on the ground in the Brooklyn area working the case.

Rahn declined to comment on whether any new information or developments have surfaced, but said “We are continuing to do interviews and go where the leads take us.”

During an interview with Good Morning America, Rob Tibbetts — Mollie Tibbetts’ father — said information from the public could crack the case.

“What we need is for people to tell their friends and neighbors that if they saw anything that seemed even remotely out of the ordinary to call the authorities and they will run that down,” he said. “The authorities have told us again and again and again that all the similar cases like this are always solved by some tip.”

Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa is offering a $1,000 reward for information resulting in as arrest or conviction related to Tibbetts’ disappearance. Over the weekend T. I. P Rural Electric Cooperative in Brooklyn announced it would match the Crime Stoppers reward, raising the amount to $2,000.

Meanwhile, friends of the family have started a Go Fund Me page to raise money in support of Tibbetts’ family.

The page was started Thursday by Nick Barry, who said he has known Tibbetts’ family for years and worked with Laura Calderwood — Mollie’s mother — in the 1990s.

“Most of us can only imagine the devastation that the family is going through right now,” Barry said in a video on the fundraising page. “And work is simply out of the question as they monitor phone calls and do everything they can to bring their little girl home.”

As of Monday, the page had raised approximately $14,500 toward its $50,000 goal.

“We wanted to help alleviate some of the financial burden, because the bills aren’t going to stop coming in and right now the family needs to focus on getting Mollie back,” Barry told The Gazette Friday.

Anyone with information regarding Tibbetts’ disappearance or her whereabouts is asked to contact the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office at (641) 623-5679 or email tips@poweshiekcosheriff.com.

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

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