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Mollie Tibbetts father rejects anti-immigrant rhetoric

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However, The
Des Moines Register
 reports that Tibbetts
said he encountered Hispanics at Mexican restaurants and
elsewhere who were sensitive and kind during the weeks he spent
in the central Iowa community of Brooklyn to help search for
his daughter.

“The Hispanic community are Iowans. They have the same values
as Iowans,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, they’re Iowans
with better food.”

The body of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts was found Aug. 21 in a
cornfield outside Brooklyn, where she had been staying during
her summer break from the University of Iowa. Authorities have
said she was abducted while out running July 18, and an autopsy
showed that she died from stab wounds.

Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, has been charged with first-degree
murder in her death and is being held in lieu of a $5 million
cash-only bond. He is suspected of being in the United States
illegally.

If convicted of murder, he faces life in prison without the
possibility of parole.

In his address at Brooklyn-Guernsey-Malcom High School, Rob
Tibbetts asked mourners to remember his daughter by
“celebrating something wonderful,” rather than focusing on how
she died.

Tibbetts urged the audience to remember his daughter’s passion
for life and her desire to help others. To highlight his call
to celebrate “wonderful” things, the father recognized a couple
who had just married the day before during his eulogy.

“Today, we need to turn the page. We’re at the end of a long
ordeal,” he said. “But we need to turn toward life — Mollie’s
life — because Mollie is nobody’s victim. Mollie is my hero.”

Davenport Bishop Thomas Zinkula led the funeral Mass in the
city of 1,500 where Mollie Tibbetts grew up.

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