‘Justice must now be served. RIP Mollie…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) A lengthy search for a missing college student reached a sad end on Tuesday as murder charges were filed against illegal immigrant Cristhian Bathena Rivera in the death of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts.
Fox News reports that Tibbetts’ father confirmed her body was found dumped in a cornfield in Poweshiek County, Iowa on Tuesday.
Investigators used surveillance footage to identify the 24-year-old Rivera, who they say accosted Tibbetts while she was jogging on the evening of July 18.
Nearly 1,500 people were interviewed during the 34-day search.
Rob Tibbetts, Mollie’s father, now will return to his home in the San Francisco area.
The sad outcome of the case was sure to evoke echoes of the Kate Steinle murder on a heavily trafficked San Francisco pier in 2015.
Steinle died in the arms of her father after a gun supposedly discharged while in the hands of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate.
Zarate was convicted of illegal gun possession but later was released by a San Francisco judge.
However, the case added considerable heft to the candidacy of Donald Trump, early in his campaign, in his bid to rein in the illegal immigration crisis.
According to Fox News, Rivera is believed to have been in the country for four to seven years.
He is currently being held on a federal immigration detainer after being charged with first-degree murder.
Iowa Rep. Steve King was among those who tweeted his condolences to the family:
Mollie Tibbetts, our hearts are broken. We all prayed for your safe return. May you now be with the Lord and your family one day find a peace. Justice must now be served. RIP Mollie.
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) August 21, 2018
And Iowa Republican Senators Joni Ernst and Charles Grassley issued a joint statement after Rivera’s arrest was announced:
“We are deeply saddened that this bright, young woman’s life was cut short….No family should ever have to endure such a tragedy, especially one that could have been prevented….Too many Iowans have been lost at the hands of criminals who broke our immigration laws. We cannot allow these tragedies to continue.”