Mollie Tibbetts kidnapping: Police believe kidnapper may have attended candlelit vigil, and was also part of search party
Tibbetts, who is a student at the University of Iowa, was last seen going for a run in Brooklyn, Iowa, on July 18
The authorities believe that Mollie Tibbetts, the missing college student, is still very much alive and is being held hostage by the person who abducted her. An insider has claimed that the suspected kidnapper may have attended a candlelight vigil held in her honor. The source, believed to be close to FBI investigation, alleged that the kidnapper might have also assisted with the extensive searches for the missing 20-year-old university student. The authorities have said that the suspect is "hiding in plain sight" and has been "closely following the case.
Tibbetts, a student at the University of Iowa, was last seen going for a run in Brooklyn, Iowa, on July 18. Two weeks after her disappearance, more than 200 people gathered at the RiverLoop Amphitheater in Waterloo for a candlelight vigil. The source close to law enforcement revealed to Radar Online that the investigators on the case believe that the kidnapper might be among the devastated family and friends at the event. They said: "There is a reason to believe the person responsible for Mollie's disappearance attended a vigil and has continued to closely follow the case."
The source also revealed that the investigators are slowly tightening the net around the suspect and have been actively looking at single, divorced, and widowed men around the area from where Tibbetts disappeared. The FBI is also looking into Tibbetts' "digital footprint," including data from her Fitbit and cell phone, to help trace her location. They further said that the investigators believe she is still alive so the family can hope for now. The source said: "There is a reason to believe Mollie is still being held captive and whoever this person is, agents from the FBI and local law enforcement agencies are closing in."
Rob Tibbetts, the 20-year-old's father, agrees with the conclusion that his daughter is still alive and that she is probably with someone known to her. He said: "I do believe Mollie is with someone who she knows, probably someone who cares about her. But that relationship was misguided, misinterpreted and went wrong, and I think they're in a place with Mollie and don't know how to get themselves out of this horrible situation."
Scott, Mollie's brother, also firmly believes that his sister is still alive somewhere. He said on All Rise with Dylan Howard: "I do believe that she's still alive, and the reason I think that is because I know her and know her strong she is. I know the sort of attitude she had, and she would never give up. I'm still hoping for the best."
Speaking of the FBI and the police's investigation of the pig farmer, he said: "They haven't told us a whole lot about that. We wouldn't share too much about it; we wouldn't want to speculate a whole lot. I'm confident in the authorities, and I'll let them bring the details to light." The host also brought up a report from one of the neighbors who said that they saw a black SUV circling the area where Tibbetts is said to have disappeared from.
The investigation by the authorities has now zeroed in on five areas with regards to the search for the missing student. This includes a truck stop and car wash in the rural farming town where she disappeared from a month ago. The investigators have launched a new website on August 13 to be able to get more tips from potential witnesses who happened to be near the specified areas in Brooklyn around the time she disappeared on July 18. The website, FindingMollie.iowa.gov, includes an interactive map that specifically pinpoints the five spots that the investigators are focusing on at the moment.
The website states: "Law enforcement is currently seeking additional witnesses and wants to speak to anyone who was in the areas indicated below on July 18, 2018, between the hours of 5 p.m. and 10 p.m." The authorities have not mentioned why they are looking into these locations specifically. Mitch Mortvedt, the assistant director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said that the investigators are keeping an open mind about all the scenarios but that it is "possible that Mollie has come into contact with someone who has caused her harm."
He also asked that the public to be vigilant and report any information about anyone who they find had been displaying odd behaviors. He said: "Often, someone in the community will unknowingly be associated with the offender, and may be in a position to observe behavioral changes in that person. They will recognize the change and may even question them about it, but will not relate the change to that person's involvement in a crime."
Some of the other changes that he asked people to consider about the case include changes in normal routine, a vehicle being unexpectedly taken to a repair shop or sold, intensive cleaning of a vehicle, altering of physical appearance, unexplained injuries, and interest in the investigation.