Update 6:17 p.m.:
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.
“We are deeply saddened that this bright, young woman’s life was cut short. Our heart goes out to the family and friends of Mollie Tibbetts. No family should ever have to endure such a tragedy, especially one that could have been prevented. We are thankful for the hard work of Governor Reynolds and federal, state and local law enforcement as they continue to find answers for Mollie’s family and the American public and bring the killer to justice. As Governor Reynolds said, ‘our immigration system allowed a predator like this to live in our community.’ Too many Iowans have been lost at the hands of criminals who broke our immigration laws. We cannot allow these tragedies to continue.”
Update 6:12 p.m.:
Vice President Mike Pence commented on Twitter about Mollie Tibbetts. “We commend the swift action by local, state, & federal investigators working in Iowa in apprehending an illegal immigrant, who’s now charged with first-degree murder. Now, justice will be served. We will never forget Mollie Tibbetts.”
Update 5:19 p.m.:
Gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell has released a statement on Mollie Tibbetts. “This is truly heartbreaking. For Mollie’s parents, her family and friends, any words today will be of little comfort. As a parent and grandparent your worst nightmare is losing your child. I know this must be an unimaginable loss. Please know our family and Iowans everywhere share your grief and are united in pursuit of justice. I want to commend our law enforcement officials who worked around the clock to investigate this crime. In this state, if you break the law, you will face the consequences.”
Update 4:25 p.m.:
Gov. Kim Reynolds has issued a statement on Mollie Tibbetts
“Today, our state woke up to heart-wrenching news. As a mother, I can’t imagine the sorrow felt by the Tibbetts family. We are all suffering over the death of Mollie, knowing that it could have been our own daughter, sister or friend.
“I spoke with Mollie’s family and passed on the heartfelt condolences of a grieving state. I shared with them my hope that they can find comfort knowing that God does not leave us to suffer alone. Even in our darkest moments, He will comfort and heal our broken hearts.
“I want to recognize and thank our local, state and federal law enforcement community for their coordinated and tireless efforts to find Mollie.
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“Over the past month, thousands of Iowans searched and prayed for Mollie’s safe return. Now, we are called to come together once again to lift up a grieving family. The search for Mollie is over, but the demand for justice has just begun.
“As Iowans, we are heartbroken, and we are angry. We are angry that a broken immigration system allowed a predator like this to live in our community, and we will do all we can bring justice to Mollie’s killer.”
A first-degree murder charge was filed today in connection with the disappearance of Mollie Tibbetts, who was last seen jogging in Brooklyn, Iowa, on July 18, 2018. A complaint and affidavit names Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, who resides in rural Poweshiek County, in the charge of Murder in the First Degree.
Watch live as authorities continue to hold a news conference regarding the missing Brooklyn 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts.