Thursday, August 13, 2020

Body found miles from where Mollie Tibbetts was last seen not missing college student, police say

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Authorities in Iowa ruled out the possibility that a body of a white woman discovered more than 100 miles southwest of where Mollie Tibbetts was last seen is that of the missing college student.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a dead body about five miles southwest of West Point early Sunday morning, the Des Moines Register reported, citing a press release. Officials said the body is of a white woman in her early to mid-20s.

Officials confirmed the remains were not Tibbetts’, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Rick Rahn told the Des Moines Register. Investigators believe they’ve identified the body and are contacting the next of kin, Rahn said. The body wasn’t immediately identified.

Mollie Tibbetts was last known to be at her boyfriend’s home in Brooklyn, Iowa.

 (Family handout)

The report of a dead body comes as a neighbor revealed to Fox News that a black SUV was seen circling Brooklyn where Tibbetts was staying on the night she vanished.

The driver went very slowly around the neighborhood the night of July 18, according to a young woman who lives a block away from the home of Tibbetts’ boyfriend, Dalton Jack.


Between 11:30 p.m. and 1 a.m., the woman said she observed the suspicious vehicle. She told Fox News that she reported it to the FBI when she was questioned. Investigators so far have not commented on it.

Tibbetts was last seen on July 18. The missing University of Iowa sophomore was last seen jogging in the area, where she was dog-sitting at her boyfriend’s home.

Also on Sunday, an FBI agent questioned the owner of a nearby farm for the third time in connection with Tibbetts’ disappearance, although it’s unclear why. The agent questioned Wayne Cheney around 5:30 p.m. local time for roughly five to 10 minutes.

Search for Mollie Tibbetts

Cheney has told Fox News he was not involved in the 20-year-old’s disappearance. The farmer has not been charged in Tibbetts’ case.

He said he had never seen Tibbetts before, because he didn’t venture into the Brooklyn area, which is several miles from his home. He added he’d allow the FBI to search his entire property and expressed confidence investigators wouldn’t find anything.

The FBI last week searched his home and some of his property, and looked through his cellphone, the farmer said. He claimed that law enforcement asked him on Thursday to take a polygraph test but he refused to do so.

The reward for Tibbetts’ safe return jumped to $260,000 as of Sunday. Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa said the missing student’s family hopes the reward money will lead to her return.

Fox News’ Christina Corbin and Andrew Keiper contributed to this report.

Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @RyanGaydos.

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