Who was Mollie Tibbetts? A look back at the life of slain Iowa woman
Mollie Tibbetts was 20-years-old when she went missing on July 18, 2018. Her body was discovered in a cornfield on August 21, 2018. Cristhian Bahena Rivera has been charged with murder in the case.
Ben Yoder, Wochit
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Twenty-year-old University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts went for an evening jog in Brooklyn, Iowa, on July 18, 2018, and seemingly vanished.
As days stretched into weeks, it was an anxious time for Iowans. We held out hope that the young woman behind the smiling face on missing person posters all over the state would be OK. We felt so bad for her family as they kept searching and begged the public for information.
Just over a month later, on Aug. 21, we learned that her body had been found in a cornfield, and a missing person mystery had become a murder case. The trial of the accused killer, Cristhian Bahena Rivera, begins Monday.
The high-profile nature of the case will present challenges for the prosecution, defense, judge and jurors, according to legal experts interviewed by Des Moines Register courts reporter William Morris.
William will be in Davenport to cover the trial, which is excepted to last a little over two weeks. But he, other reporters and the public won’t be inside the courtroom. COVID-19 social distance protocols will force media to cover the trial via video feed.
After the jury is selected and the trial begins, likely by Wednesday, William and criminal justice reporter Eric Ferkenhoff will provide continuous updates on testimony each day at DesMoinesRegister.com. Earlier this spring, Eric was part of a team of reporters for the USA TODAY Network who provided similar updates during the trial of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted of killing George Floyd.
A Register staffer also will be part of a rotation of journalists serving as the sole photographer inside the courtroom shooting still images, which will be shared with other media.
William’s and Eric’s news updates will be accessible to all visitors to our websites. But they’ll also do in-depth reporting on trial developments and strategy that we’ll make available only to our subscribers.
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