DAVENPORT – A jury on Friday found Cristhian Bahena Rivera guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Mollie Tibbetts.
Rivera, 24, who resided in rural Poweshiek County, in the charge of Murder in the First Degree. The Des Moines Register says Rivera is an “undocumented immigrant” from Mexico.
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, 2018, in a farm field southeast of Brooklyn, Iowa.
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. Rivera will be sentenced Just 15.
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.”
Gov. Kim Reynolds issued the following statement on the conviction of Rivera for the murder of Mollie Tibbetts:
Governor Reynolds released the following statement following the verdict in the trial for the murder of Mollie Tibbetts:
“My heart goes out to Mollie’s family for having to endure the pain and suffering that resulted from this horrific murder. I pray that today’s verdict will not just bring justice but some sense of closure to her family and the community. There is no bringing Mollie back, but her memory will continue to live on through the happiness she brought to all who knew her.”