Public Safety

Body of Mollie Tibbetts believed found, News Conference at 4 p.m. today

April Kane (right) helps as Sara Alexander cuts a banner of missing person signs at Live Now Photography and Design in Brooklyn on Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. The shop in downtown Brooklyn has been busy printing missing person signs and T-shirts to spread the word about Mollie Tibbetts’ disappearance. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
April Kane (right) helps as Sara Alexander cuts a banner of missing person signs at Live Now Photography and Design in Brooklyn on Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. The shop in downtown Brooklyn has been busy printing missing person signs and T-shirts to spread the word about Mollie Tibbetts’ disappearance. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
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A body was found Tuesday morning in a field in rural Poweshiek County, according to Mitch Mortvedt, assistant director of field operations for the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

Multiple national news outlets including CBS and Fox News are reporting the body is believed to be that of Mollie Tibbetts, however, Special Agent in Charge Rick Rahn of DCI said he cannot confirm those reports.

Instead, Rahn said an update will be given during a news conference regarding the disappearance of Mollie Tibbetts today at 4 p.m. in Montezuma.

At this time, officials are not confirming what details will be shared, but say there will be significant updates to the investigation.

Tibbetts, a 20-year-old college student from Brooklyn was last seen on the evening of July 18.

Authorities, who have remained tight-lipped throughout the investigation, have searched for more than a month using air and water units, boots on the ground and K-9s, but found little-to-no signs of Tibbetts.

The use of data and digital records associated with Tibbetts’ social media and devices have also been a focal point of the investigation.

Greg Willey, VP of Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa, is being connected to reports regarding a body being found. Willey told The Gazette his words were taken out of context.

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“If a body was found and if it turns out to be Mollie, I imagined the family would then reallocate the reward fund to finding her killer, if she was murdered,” Willey told The Gazette. “The initial intent for the fund was to bring her home alive. Once this thing gets settled (if Mollie is dead), I imagine the family more than likely will turn that into a reward to find out what happened to her and who did it.”

Willey spoke to The Gazette Tuesday morning as he was driving back to Iowa from St. Paul, Minnesota. The Crime Stoppers organization was instrumental in helping Tibbetts’ family set up a donation-driven reward fund for Mollie’s safe return. In about two weeks, that fund had received nearly $400,000 in donations.

Stick with The Gazette for updates to this story as they unfold.

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