Mollie Tibbetts: What we know and what we’ve heard

Mollie Tibbetts’ profile picture on Facebook. She has been missing since July 18. 

Emily Berch

What we know:

July 18: Mollie Tibbetts goes for a run in Brooklyn, Iowa. She is last heard from via a Snapchat message to her boyfriend, Dalton Jack, around 10 p.m. Her computer data shows she was working on homework late into the evening.

July 19: Tibbetts does not show up to work or respond to her boyfriend’s texts. He contacts her family, and they report her as missing.

July 20: Volunteers, canvassers from the Poweshiek County area, begin searching for Mollie.

July 24: FBI agents begin investigating Tibbetts’ disappearance.

July 25: Tom Kriegel, Poweshiek County Sheriff, confirms that Jack and his brother are not suspects in the investigation.

July 26: An unnamed woman reports seeing Tibbetts at a truck stop in the Kearney, Mo. area. Officials later confirm that the woman is not Mollie.

Aug. 1: Wayne Cheney, Poweshiek County farmer, reveals that the FBI searched his home and 70-acre farm a week earlier. He refused a polygraph test and is not officially named as a suspect.

Aug. 2: A red t-shirt is found near Cheney’s farm, spurring additional searches in the area. Tibbetts parents announce the “Bring Mollie Tibbetts Home Safe Reward Fund” of $172,000 at a press conference in Brooklyn. They also announce that they believe she is being held captive but is still alive.

Aug. 5: Another young woman’s body is found in neighboring Lee County. The body is determined to not be Tibbetts.

Aug. 6: At a press conference, Rob Tibbetts, Mollie’s father, says he believes she is with someone she knows. He acknowledges that this is his own speculation.

Aug. 8: Marion Police are notified of a potential Tibbetts sighting at a local Casey’s. An officer determines the report to be false.

Aug. 14: Investigators focus their search to five areas in and near Brooklyn: her boyfriend’s home, a carwash, a truck stop and two farms in the Brooklyn area.

Aug. 21:body suspected to be that of Tibbetts’ is found in a cornfield, covered with cornstalks. The Poweshiek County Sheriff’s office holds a press conference announcing that Brooklyn resident Cristhian Bahena Rivera has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Mollie Tibbetts. Rivera was taken into custody after investigators obtained a video from a Brooklyn resident, in which they see Tibbetts jogging as well as Rivera’s Chevy Malibu driving. Sheriff Kriegel tells reporters that Rivera is “an illegal alien.”

Aug. 22: Rivera makes his first court appearance. Immigration, Customs and Enforcement files an immigration detainer, and his bond is raised to $5 million.

What we’ve heard:

For the past four years, Rivera has worked at Yarrabee Farms in Brooklyn. Yarrabee Farms issued a statement on Tuesday night claiming to have checked Rivera’s immigration status through the government’s E-Verify system and found him to be an “employee in good standing.”

Wednesday morning, attorney Allen Richards filed a document asking for a gag order in the case, following statements made by state and national politicians regarding Rivera’s immigration status.

Wednesday afternoon, Yarrabee Farms’ partial owner Dan Lang corrected that a manager at Yarrabee mistakenly used the Social Security Administration’s employment verification, a separate system from E-Verify, and that Rivera had used false identification to pass the background check.

Wednesday evening, Fox News reported from an anonymous source in law enforcement that the Chevy Malibu seen in the video is not registered to Rivera.

Follow the Iowa State Daily for continuous coverage of the Mollie Tibbetts investigation.