Investigators chase hundreds of leads in search for missing Iowa student

MONTEZUMA, Iowa — Investigators say they still don’t know what happened to Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts who vanished nearly two weeks ago from her hometown Brooklyn, Iowa. At a news conference Tuesday, a lead investigator said dozens of local, state and federal agents are working to determine what happened to the 20-year-old.

Kevin Winker, director of investigative operations with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, says they are working every lead and tip that comes in. He said investigators have drawn no conclusions about what happened, but that her disappearing on her own is “not consistent with her past.”

In the press conference, Winker mentioned that 200 leads have been pursued and between 30 to 40 investigators are working on the case on any given day. He said Tuesday that investigators have formulated a solid timeline of her disappearance, but didn’t elaborate.

Tibbetts was last seen jogging in her hometown of Brooklyn on the evening of July 18. Her family reported her missing the next day after she didn’t show up to work.


Search continues for 20-year-old missing Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts.


Winker said the last known articles of clothing Tibbetts are believed to have been wearing were dark colored running shorts, a sports top and running shoes.

Family members have said she was dog-sitting at the home where her longtime boyfriend, his brother and the brother’s fiancee live.

Winker also mentioned that investigators have not identified the reason for Tibbetts’ disappearance and they “have not ruled out any possibilities.”

Tibbett’s brother has said investigators told him there is evidence she was doing homework on her computer the night she disappeared. Her boyfriend has also said he got a Snapchat from her around 10 p.m. that same night, and she appeared to be indoors.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety said in a press release Thursday that searches for Tibbetts include “ground, air and the utilization of K-9’s. Investigators continue to work this case aggressively and seek the public’s support.”

Investigators have searched through nearby cornfields and a pig farm to no avail. They’ve also been using digital forensic searches of her social media accounts, cellphone and fitness tracker in an effort to find her.

No piece of information is considered too small or insignificant, CBS affiliate KCCI-TV reports. Tibbett’s father says it could be the clue that brings his daughter home.

“We are fighting. That’s all we can do,” said Rob Tibbetts. “She is a real person. Not a missing girl on a poster.”

Tibbetts is supposed to begin her sophomore year at the University of Iowa as a psychology major.

Officials ask anyone with information about Tibbett’s whereabouts to call a dedicated tipline at 800-452-1111 or 515-223-1400. There is a $2,000 reward for information leading to discovering Tibbett’s location or an arrest in the case.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Categories: National, US & World News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *