5th Update: Mollie Tibbetts Murdered by Illegal Alien Aug 21, 2018 21:16:20 GMT -5
Post by Graveyardbride on Aug 21, 2018 21:16:20 GMT -5
Mollie Tibbetts Murdered by Illegal Alien
The suspect in the murder of Mollie Tibbetts (right) is a 24-year-old illegal alien from Mexico who has been living in and around Poweshiek County for at least seven years. Cristhian Bahena-Rivera (left) was apprehended today. The 20-year-old University of Iowa student went missing Wednesday, July 18. She was last seen jogging near Brooklyn.
A body believed to be that of the missing girl was discovered earlier today after Bahena led authorities to the location. According to Rick Rahn of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the corpse was found hidden in a cornfield beneath several corn stalks.
The suspect told law enforcement he approached Tibbetts while she was running. “He actually tells us that he ran alongside of her or behind her,” Rahn explained. “And then at one point, he tells us that Mollie grabbed ahold of her phone and says ‘You need to leave me alone, I’m gonna call the police.’ And then she took off running. He, in turn, chased her down. And then he tells us that at some point in time he blacks out and then he comes to near an intersection in which we believe he then placed Mollie.”
Bahena told investigators he became angry when Tibbetts took out her cellphone, according to court documents obtained by The Associated Press. He then claimed he panicked and “blocked” his memory. The suspect alleged he didn’t remember what happened next, but later realized he had put the young woman into his truck after finding an earpiece from headphones in his lap. He then opened the trunk and noticed blood on the side of her head. “A first-degree murder charge was filed today in connection with the disappearance of Mollie Tibbetts,” Rahn added.
Following the illegal Mexican’s arrest, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) lodged a detainer with the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office on the suspect.
With the help of surveillance video obtained from an individual living in the area where Tibbetts was abducted, law enforcement was able to identify a vehicle belonging to the suspect, Rahn advised. Investigators saw Tibbetts on the video and realized Bahena “was one of the last ones to see Mollie running,” he said.
Rahn declined to provide many details concerning the girl’s murder, citing the ongoing investigation and the fact the body had yet to be formally identified. He did confirm investigators had talked to hundreds of people and received more than 4,000 tips, but the break in the case came within the last two weeks when they found someone with a security camera system while canvassing a neighborhood. The videos captured images of Tibbetts running and a black Chevrolet Malibu that investigators traced to Bahena.
The alien was interviewed at length Monday and admitted seeing Tibbetts and explained how he pursued her. “He was very compliant,” Rahn added. “He was willing to talk to us. There was no fight or struggle of any kind.” Rahn confirmed Bahena led officials to the girl’s body following the interview. He added that officials believe Bahem was, or is, employed, but declined to specify how or with whom. The suspect’s bond has been set at $1 million.
At a rally in West Virginia tonight, President Trump appeared to reference the case and the arrest of the illegal alien. “You saw what happened to that beautiful, incredible young woman. Should have never happened. Illegally in our country,” he commented. “The immigration laws are such a disgrace. We’re getting them changed.”
Vice President Pence wrote on Twitter: “Heartbroken by the news 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.”
In Iowa, Governor Kim Reynolds released a statement in which she said: “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.”
The broad contours of Tibbetts’s death are reminiscent of the 2015 murder of Kate Steinle, a 32-year-old San Francisco woman who was shot and killed by José Ines Garcia Zarate, another illegal Mexican who had been deported five times.
Mollie Tibbetts was born in San Francisco and moved with her mother to Brooklyn, Iowa, when she was in second grade. She won state speech competitions, was involved in theater and ran cross-country. She was pursuing a degree in psychology.
Sources: Nicole Darrah and Katherine Lam, Fox News, August 21, 2018; Nick Miroff, Eli Rosenberg and Cleve R. Wootson Jr., The Washington Post, August 21, 2018; Dave Price, WHO, August 21, 2018; and The Associated Press.