Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, has been identified as the suspect who has been detained in connection the death of 20-year-old University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts. Rivera, an illegal immigrant, has been charged with first-degree murder. Tibbetts, the 20-year-old Iowa college student who was last seen July 18, was found dead on Tuesday, August 21.
According to the various reports, the suspect was taken into custody and is being held on a federal immigration detainer. Rivera, who is believed to have been in the area for “four to seven years”, was first approached by police on Monday, August 20. He was described by police as “compliant” and led authorities to Tibbetts’ body.
Authorities say that Rivera spotted Tibbetts as she was jogging when he decided to follow her around 385th street in Brooklyn, Iowa. Rivera says that at one point, Tibbetts took out her phone, told Rivera to stop following her, and began to run away. Rivera says he then began to chase after her and “blacked out” at that point.
via Washington Post:
The charge was filed more than month after Tibbetts went out for a jog and disappeared — and days after investigators searching for the missing Iowa college student said they were focusing their efforts on five locations.
For 34 days, federal, state and local authorities had scoured Poweshiek County for Tibbetts, and sifted through electronic data from her Fitbit, cellphone and social media accounts for any clue about what happened to the woman who was last seen alive while going for an evening run. They’d also interviewed nearly 1,500 people.
Authorities had narrowed their search to a carwash, Tibbetts’s boyfriend’s home, a truck stop and two farms.
Richard Rahn, the special agent in charge with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation for the Major Crime Unit, said that more than 200 interviews were conducted in the investigation into her disappearance.
Tibbetts’ autopsy will take place on Wednesday, August 22.