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Missing 20-year-old college student, Mollie Tibbetts, found dead in Iowa: sources

Posted at 9:41 AM, Aug 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-21 09:41:14-04

BROOKLYN, Iowa -- Nearly a month after she was reported missing, Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts has been found dead, authorities have confirmed to multiple media outlets.

Investigators had been searching for clues and conducting hundreds of interviews in the search for 20-year-old Mollie Tibbets. It's still unclear what happened to the missing University of Iowa student.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is holding a 5:00 p.m. news conference where officials are expected to release a significant update, according to WHO-TV.

Fox News and CBS News spoke to authorities on Tuesday who confirmed the identity of the body.

Her family and friends posted flyers, talked to people and did media interviews to spread awareness about the 20-year-old.

Tibbetts disappeared on July 18, in Brooklyn, a small community an hour east of Des Moines, according to the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office.

More than 200 interviews have been conducted in the investigation into her disappearance, said Richard Rahn, the special agent in charge with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation for the Major Crime Unit, earlier this month.

Investigators looked at various data, including social media and information from a Fitbit that Tibbetts is known to have.

“It’s intolerable. No one just disappears, no one just vanishes without a trace,” her father told HLN.

Tibbetts was studying psychology and wanted to get a Ph.D. and write books, her father said.

On July 18, the day she disappeared, Tibbetts’ brother dropped her off at her boyfriend’s house so she could dog-sit, HLN reported. She was last spotted jogging around 7:30 that evening, wearing gym shorts, a black sports bra, and running shoes, the sheriff’s office said.

Investigators have constructed a timeline they feel confident about.

"The timeline is very important, obviously, to us, but it's also been very important to us to get to know Mollie and understand what's normal for Mollie, what's not normal for Mollie," Kevin Winker, director of investigative operations for the Iowa Department of Public Safety, said on Tuesday.

When previously asked if authorities suspect that Tibbetts was abducted, Winker said: "We don't know where Mollie is at right now. And I am not going to draw any conclusions about the circumstances of her disappearance. Other than it is not consistent with her past."