POWESHIEK COUNTY, Iowa — A first-degree murder charge was filed today in connection with the disappearance of Mollie Tibbetts, who was last seen jogging in Brooklyn, Iowa, on July 18, 2018. A complaint and affidavit names Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, who resides in rural Poweshiek County, in the charge of Murder in the First Degree.
Dozens of law enforcement officials from local, state and federal agencies were involved in the investigation after the disappearance of Mollie Tibbetts, 20. A body was discovered in the early morning hours of August 21, in a farm field southeast of Brooklyn, Iowa. The identity has not been confirmed, but it is believed to be Mollie Tibbetts.
The Complaint and Affidavit, which is linked below, provides the details of the allegations against Mr. Rivera.
Charges were filed in the Poweshiek County, Iowa, District Court. The case will be prosecuted by the Iowa Attorney General’s Area Prosecution Division. First-degree murder carries a penalty of life without parole.
“Our hearts go out to the Tibbetts family and to the Brooklyn community. It is a loss for all of us,” said Poweshiek County Sheriff Tom Kriegel. “We appreciate the support for law enforcement community in their commitment to this investigation, and we thank the Brooklyn community for their support for the investigation.”
The Division of Criminal Investigation received more than 4,000 tips during the investigation. “We regularly had 30-40 investigators devoted to this investigation since Molly disappeared,” said DCI Special Agent in Charge Richard Rahn. “Without that kind of support from our fellow law enforcement officers, we could not have made the progress we did. The Poweshiek County Sheriff and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were valued partners in leading the investigation, and many other agencies contributed resources throughout the past five weeks. We thank the Tibbetts family for their support to us, and we hope that they will continue to have the support of their community and the nation in the coming weeks and months.”