Mollie Tibbetts Disappearance: Body Found in Rural Iowa Not Missing Student, Say Police

August 5, 2018 Updated: August 5, 2018    

Officials in Iowa said they discovered the body of a white female in her 20s on Aug. 5, but they later said it isn’t Mollie Tibbetts, who disappeared last month.

The body was found in Iowa’s rural Lee County, about two hours away from Brooklyn, Iowa, where Tibbetts, 20, had disappeared.

“The Lee County Sheriff’s Office requested the assistance of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), as well as the DCI’s Crime Scene Team. Investigators are keenly aware of the Mollie Tibbetts investigation and have no reason to believe that the decedent is that of Mollie Tibbetts,” the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation said in a press release on Aug. 5.

It said, “There will be no other comments or statements released at this time in reference to the Lee County death investigation or the Mollie Tibbetts investigation.”

Police later told KWQC that the woman was identified, but her name is not released. They didn’t elaborate on where the woman was found or a possible cause of death.

Tibbetts Family Speaks Out

Tibbetts has been missing since July 18 after she was seen jogging in Brooklyn, where she was staying at her boyfriend’s house to watch his dogs. Dalton Jack, her boyfriend, and family reported Tibbetts missing on July 19 when she didn’t show for work. The case has drawn national attention and heavy media coverage.

This undated photo released by the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation shows Mollie Tibbetts, a University of Iowa student who was reported missing from her hometown in the eastern Iowa city of Brooklyn on Thursday, July 19, 2018. A neighbor reported seeing her going for a jog Wednesday evening. The Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office said Monday, July 23, 2018, that Tibbetts had not been found. (Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation/AP)

“Initially, it was shock and then, you know, it gets harder day by day because she’s still not here and you miss her, you miss her more than anything in the world,” her boyfriend said in an interview on Aug. 2 with NBC News. Jack isn’t a suspect in the case.

He said, “I try not to speculate on it too much because the only thing that comes into your head whenever you’re not investigating all the facts is that something bad happened and you don’t, I personally don’t want to believe that.”

The father of the woman, Rob Tibbetts, meanwhile, told the Des Moines Register that his family is seeking answers. “If someone out there is holding Mollie, and they’re in over their head and they’ve made a horrible mistake, you can end it now before it goes any further,” he said.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety said that her last known article of clothing is said to be dark-colored running shorts, a pink sports top, and running shoes, color unknown.

Anyone with information about Tibbetts’s disappearance should call Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office at 641-623-5679 or send an email to tips@poweshieckcosheriff.com.