Mollie Tibbetts murder enters political fray against family's wishes

The murder of Mollie Tibbetts has ignited new calls for tougher immigration laws after the arrest of an undocumented man. CNN's Dianne Gallagher reports.

Posted: Aug 23, 2018 6:12 PM
Updated: Aug 23, 2018 6:25 PM

A preliminary report from the autopsy on Mollie Tibbetts' body determined that her death was a "homicide resulting from multiple sharp force injuries," the Iowa State Medical Examiner said.

Tibbetts, a 20-year-old student at the University of Iowa, went missing after an evening jog on July 18, sparking an extensive month-long search in the region. A body that officials believed to be hers was found on Tuesday in a rural area, hidden under corn stalks, and the autopsy confirmed her identity.

"Sharp force injuries" are those caused by pointed or sharp-edged objects, such as in stab wounds, incised wounds and chop wounds, according to the medical news site Medscape.

Cristhian Bahena Rivera, a 24-year-old Mexican man who illegally came to the United States, was charged with her murder on Wednesday after he confessed to following her on her run. In an arrest affidavit, Rivera said he remembered getting mad at her; what happened afterward was "blocked" from his memory.

When he came to, he realized he had put a bleeding Tibbetts in his trunk, and then he carried her into a cornfield and left her there, the affidavit states.

Tibbetts' tragic death and the suspect's unauthorized immigration status have thrust the story to the forefront of the US immigration debate in the past few days.

President Donald Trump and other leading Republicans have argued that this case shows the need to maintain stricter border security and kick out undocumented immigrants.

However, studies have cast doubt on the argument that immigrants commit crimes more often than others. A study published in Justice Quarterly in 2012 found that "foreign-born individuals exhibit remarkably low levels of involvement in crime." Similarly, a study from Northwestern University found no correlation between immigrants and violent crime.

Rivera has not yet entered a plea in the case and is being held on $5 million bond. He has no criminal record and had worked at a local dairy farm for four years prior to his arrest.

Rick Rahn, special agent in charge at the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said the suspect's motive was unclear.

"I can just tell you it seems that he followed her and seemed to be drawn to her on that particular day and for whatever reason, he chose to abduct her," Rahn said.

Huntsville
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 65°
Florence
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 67°
Fayetteville
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 63°
Decatur
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 64°
Scottsboro
Few Clouds
59° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 59°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 17359

Reported Deaths: 618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2191115
Jefferson1780102
Montgomery163238
Tuscaloosa73814
Marshall6879
Franklin5457
Lee54033
Shelby50319
Tallapoosa42364
Butler40217
Chambers35325
Walker3442
Elmore3398
Madison3274
Baldwin2839
Dallas2603
Morgan2511
Etowah24811
DeKalb2433
Lowndes23812
Coffee2291
Sumter2206
Autauga2164
Houston2094
Bullock2034
Pike1980
Colbert1782
Russell1670
Marengo1636
Lauderdale1612
Hale1598
Calhoun1543
Choctaw1518
Barbour1501
Wilcox1447
Clarke1422
Cullman1260
Randolph1257
Marion12111
St. Clair1181
Pickens1114
Dale1100
Talladega1093
Chilton1001
Limestone940
Greene944
Winston880
Covington771
Jackson772
Crenshaw763
Macon754
Henry742
Bibb721
Washington686
Blount611
Escambia573
Lawrence480
Geneva400
Conecuh391
Coosa381
Monroe372
Perry370
Cherokee373
Clay272
Lamar230
Fayette150
Cleburne141
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 22566

Reported Deaths: 364
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Davidson504062
Shelby4943111
Trousdale13924
Rutherford119623
Sumner88145
Hamilton79415
Bledsoe6071
Williamson55210
Putnam4795
Robertson4653
Tipton4423
Out of TN4184
Lake4140
Wilson4078
Knox3755
Bedford2834
Montgomery2693
Rhea2100
Hardeman1960
Madison1752
Loudon1430
McMinn14114
Macon1363
Cheatham1230
Bradley1221
Fayette1152
Cumberland1121
Dickson1090
Unassigned920
Blount913
Maury890
Sevier812
Washington750
Coffee730
Wayne640
Gibson631
Monroe622
Sullivan602
Hickman580
Lauderdale561
Franklin531
Greene502
Dyer500
Marion401
Anderson401
DeKalb370
Hamblen362
Smith341
White330
Hawkins332
Lawrence310
Grundy311
Haywood312
Marshall311
Obion301
Henry300
Jefferson280
Carroll271
Overton260
Meigs260
Weakley260
Lincoln250
Warren230
Cannon210
Perry210
Cocke200
Carter191
Campbell181
Morgan170
Jackson170
Crockett162
Roane160
Polk160
Johnson160
Henderson150
Hardin152
Sequatchie150
Humphreys131
Fentress120
McNairy120
Chester120
Giles120
Scott120
Stewart110
Claiborne90
Houston80
Grainger80
Clay70
Benton71
Decatur50
Unicoi40
Union40
Van Buren40
Lewis30
Pickett30
Moore30
Hancock10

 

 

Community Events