Police got their big break in Mollie Tibbetts' case after surveillance footage led them to the alleged murderer
In the surveillance video, Mollie was spotted running, and it also showed a black Chevrolet Malibu repeatedly passing through the area. Police found their man on tracing the car.
Lowa authorities stated that their big break in the case of Mollie Tibbetts' disappearance came when they spotted her alleged murderer's black Chevy Malibu on surveillance video from the area's security cameras. 20-year-old Mollie was found dead Tuesday morning in a cornfield in Guernsey, Iowa. Her body was covered with corn stalks. In the video, Mollie was spotted running by, and also showed a black Chevrolet Malibu repeatedly passing through the area. Investigators traced the car to her alleged murderer, 24-year-old Cristhian Behena Rivera. At a press conference on Tuesday (August 21), Rick Rahn of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said that Cristhian admitted he had followed Mollie in his car a few minutes before he parked his car and started running behind her.
As reported by People, Cristhian told the police that Mollie had asked him to leave her alone, threatening to call the police. "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," according to the document which was written by a sheriff's deputy. Cristhian later told the authorities that he came to an intersection and drove into a cornfield when he realized he had put the woman in the truck.
He further told the police that when he opened the truck he noticed that Mollie had blood on the side of her head. As reported by USA Today, Cristhian recalled that he dragged Mollie into the filed, then put her body on the shoulder and carried her into a deeper corner of the field.
CHARGED with FIRST DEGREE MURDER of Mollie Tibbetts.... This is Cristhian Bahena Rivera... 24-years-old... Undocumented immigrant... LOCKED UP TONIGHT pic.twitter.com/N2rMVi4Wmx— Vinnie Politan (@VinniePolitan) August 21, 2018
He then set her body down and covered her with corn stalks. After confessing to the authorities about what he had done, Cristhian led authorities to Mollie's remains. Meanwhile, Rick did not comment on how Mollie was killed or what was the motive behind the murder. He stated that Cristhian “seemed to be drawn to her on that particular day and chose to abduct her.” At the same time, he added that Cristhian had admitted he had seen Mollie before but did not comment on whether the two knew each other.
Rick noted that Cristhian is an undocumented immigrant who “kept to himself” and had lived in the area between four and seven years. Mollie was last seen on the evening of July 18, while she was out for her evening run. However, Rick could not comment on when she died. Cristhian was charged with first-degree murder and is being held in the Poweshiek County jail on a $1 million cash-only bond.
Mollie, a sophomore at the University of Iowa, was living with her boyfriend, Dalton Jack, in his older brother’s house. Mollie, according to the police, was caring for the brothers’ dogs, as he and her boyfriend were out of town, working construction jobs. More than $400,000 in reward money was raised through efforts championed by Mollie's parents, pleading their daughter’s captors through various television interviews for her life.