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Mollie Tibbetts was killed by ‘sharp force injuries,’ autopsy says

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mollie tibbetts missing iowa woman AP_18233668670814
A
poster for missing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts
hangs in the window of a local business on Aug. 21, 2018, in
Brooklyn, Iowa.


Charlie
Neibergall/AP



  • Preliminary autopsy results reveal
    that 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts was killed by
    “multiple sharp force injuries.”
  • The man charged with first-degree murder in Tibbetts’
    death, Cristhian Bahena Rivera, allegedly led investigators to
    her body early Tuesday in a cornfield outside of Brooklyn,
    Iowa.
  • While investigators were confident then that the body
    was that of Tibbetts, the autopsy definitively confirmed her
    identity.
  • Authorities said Rivera admitted to following Tibbetts,
    approaching her, and then blacking out and later discovering
    her body in the trunk of his car.

Mollie Tibbetts was killed by “multiple sharp force injuries,”
investigators announced on Thursday.

The Iowa college student was allegedly abducted while
running last month by a stranger who was living
in the US illegally
.

Preliminary autopsy results from the state medical examiner’s
office also determined that 20-year-old Tibbetts was the victim
of a homicide, the Division of Criminal Investigation announced
in a press release.

The agency did not release additional details about the injuries
Tibbetts suffered or what caused them, but said further
examination of her body may result in additional findings.

Autopsy reports are confidential under Iowa law, except for the
cause and manner of death.


The man charged with first-degree murder in Tibbetts’ death,
Cristhian Bahena Rivera
, allegedly led investigators to her
body early Tuesday in a cornfield outside of Brooklyn, Iowa, the
town where she was last seen last month.

While investigators were confident then that the body was that of
Tibbetts, the autopsy definitively confirmed her identity.

Murder suspect allegedly led investigators to Tibbetts’
body



christian rivera police arresting suspect mollie tibbetts murder AP_18234652233161
Cristhian
Bahena Rivera is escorted into the Poweshiek County Courthouse
for his initial court appearance, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, in
Montezuma, Iowa. Rivera is charged with first-degree murder in
the death of Mollie Tibbetts, who disappeared July 18 from
Brooklyn, Iowa.


Charlie
Neibergall/AP




Prosecutors allege that Rivera abducted Tibbetts while she was
out for an evening run in Brooklyn on July 18, killed her, and
disposed of her body in the secluded location.


Authorities said Rivera admitted to following
Tibbetts
, approaching her, and then blacking out and
later discovering her body in the trunk of his car.

A criminal complaint says Rivera confessed during a lengthy
interrogation that began Monday to following Tibbetts in his car,
getting out on foot, and chasing after her.

Rivera told investigators that he panicked after Tibbetts
threatened to call police on her cell phone, he blacked out, and
later came to when he was unloading her bloody body from the
trunk of a car, the complaint says.

Earlier this week, investigators said they were uncertain how
Tibbetts was killed or whether she was sexually assaulted.
They’ve made no mention of recovering a weapon linked to the
death.

Rivera worked for the last four years at a dairy farm a few miles
from where Tibbetts was last seen.

His employer, Yarrabee Farms, initially said Rivera had passed
the government’s E-Verify system, which is designed to flag
unauthorized immigrants for employers.

But manager Dane Lang told
the Associated Press
 on Wednesday that they were
mistaken, and had not used E-Verify.

Rivera and Tibbetts have no known connections, other than that
Rivera allegedly told investigators that he saw her running
previously.

Investigators zeroed in on him as the suspect after obtaining
footage from surveillance cameras showing a vehicle connected to
him circling the area of Tibbetts’ running route.

Trump is calling for stricter immigration laws after arrest

Rivera, a native of Mexico who is suspected of being in the US
illegally, made his initial court appearance Wednesday and is
being jailed on a $5 million cash-only bond.

He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if
convicted.

Within hours of the arrest, President Donald Trump seized on the
news that Rivera was allegedly in the country illegally and
called for stricter immigration laws, calling current laws a
“disgrace” while at a rally in West Virginia.

And in an interview that aired Thursday, he told “Fox &
Friends” that Tibbetts was a “beautiful young girl” who was
killed by “a horrible person that came in from Mexico, illegally
here.”

The president also claimed the suspect was “found by” agents from
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, an agency that some
liberals have called for abolishing because of tactics they view
as overly harsh.

An ICE spokesman said Thursday that its agents worked with state
and local investigators in “identifying, locating and
interviewing the suspect.”


conviction rates immigration status texas 2015 NEW
Native-born Americans are
convicted of many more violent crimes than unauthorized
immigrants are.

Shayanne Gal/Business
Insider


Division of Criminal Investigation spokesman Mitch Mortvedt
agreed that ICE played a “significant role” in the case,
particularly in helping confirm Rivera’s identity and immigration
status.

Rivera’s defense attorney, Allan Richards, has denounced Trump
for prejudging his client’s guilt, saying the president’s
comments would make it hard for Rivera to get a fair trial.

“Let’s let the process go,” he said Thursday. “The process is
about truth-finding in a rational, peaceful and efficient manner.
We’re only at the very preliminary stages.”

Before Tibbetts went missing, she had been dog sitting at her
boyfriend’s house while he was at work 100 miles away.

Her family reported her missing after she did not show up for
work on July 19.

Tibbetts’ family has tried to downplay the link between the
20-year-old’s death and illegal immigration.

“We are not so f—ing small-minded that we generalize a whole
population based on some bad individuals,” Tibbetts’
cousin tweeted in
response to the right-wing commentator Candace Owens.

“Evil comes in EVERY color,” Tibbetts’ aunt, Billie Jo
Calderwood, wrote in a statement.

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