Authorities have reportedly found the body of Mollie Tibbetts, a 20-year-old University of Iowa student whose disappearance more than a month ago sent a shockwave through the small town of Brooklyn, Iowa. Tibbetts’ father, Rob Tibbetts, confirmed to Fox News that his daughter’s body had been discovered on Tuesday morning. The student was watching dogs at the home of her boyfriend’s brother on July 18, where witnesses said they last saw her jogging alone around 7:30 P.M.
Over the past month, investigators had led a frantic search following “hundreds” of leads in an attempt to locate Tibbetts. Her father, who spent several weeks in the Iowa town helping search for his daughter, had remained optimistic about the possibility of her safe return.
“It’s totally speculation on my part, but I think Mollie is with someone that she knows, that is in over their head. That there was some kind of misunderstanding about the nature of their relationship and at this point they don’t know how to get out from under this,” Tibbetts previously told Fox News.
“The bottom line is somebody knows something,” he added. “You can’t do anything there without someone seeing it.” The town has just 1,400 residents.
More than $400,000 had been raised as a reward fund for information leading to her safe return, but it will now be used as a reward for information leading to the capture of anyone suspected of her murder, according to Greg Willey, vice president of Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa.
“Once they catch their breath, this will turn into a weapon going the other direction to catch the person who did it,” he said.