The final moments before the death of missing college student Mollie Tibbetts were revealed by an illegal immigrant accused of murdering her, investigators said.
Family members and investigators knew Tibbetts, 20, had been jogging on July 18 before she disappeared but data from her computer led them to believe she had returned to the home of her boyfriend, where she’d been dogsitting while he was away on a work trip, before she vanished.
However, alleged killer Cristhian Bahena Rivera said that he spotted Tibbetts while she was jogging and that she was soon dead.
Investigators said in a probable cause statement obtained by the Des Moines Register that video footage showed a dark-colored Chevy Malibu approach Tibbetts as she ran near the area of Boundary and Middle Streets near Brooklyn, Iowa.
Her Last Words
Rivera admitted to investigators that he was driving the vehicle and that he stopped driving and exited the car. He began running behind her, then alongside her, which scared Tibbetts. She told Rivera “I’m gonna call the police” and grabbed her phone.
“Rivera said he then panicked and got mad and that he then ‘blocked’ his ‘memory’ which is what he does when he gets very upset,” investigators stated.
“He doesn’t remember anything after that until he came to an intersection [back in his car],” investigators stated.
Rivera told them he made a u-turn and drove to an entrance to a cornfield and drove into a driveway. He then noticed there was an earpiece from headphones in his lap and realized that he had killed Tibbetts when he blacked out and had placed her body in the trunk.
Rivera then dragged Tibbetts on foot from his vehicle to a secluded location in the cornfield and covered her body in some corn leaves, leaving her there face up.
Rivera later led investigators to the location of the body, on Aug. 21.
President Donald Trump spoke about the suspected murder by the illegal immigrant during a rally in West Virginia later on Aug. 21.
“You heard about today with the illegal alien coming in, very sadly, from Mexico and you saw what happened to that incredible, beautiful young woman,” Trump told the crowd in Charleston, reported the Associated Press.
“Should’ve never happened. Illegally in our country. We’ve had a huge impact, but the laws are so bad. The immigration laws are such a disgrace, we’re getting them changed, but we have to get more Republicans. We have to get ’em.”
Iowa’s two U.S. senators described Tibbetts’ death as a tragedy “that could have been prevented,” and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement that residents in her state were heartbroken and 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 to bring justice to Mollie’s killer,” Reynolds said.