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It has been nearly a week since Mollie Tibbetts was last seen going for a jog near her boyfriend’s house in Brooklyn, Iowa, sparking a huge volunteer search effort and impassioned pleas from her loved ones.
Now, the FBI is getting involved in the search for the missing 20-year-old University of Iowa student, according to NBC News.
Mitch Mortvedt, a spokesman for the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, told NBC News that investigators are still asking the public to come forward with any information that might help the search.
"We'd like to get any information we can,” he told NBC. “The more eyes and ears we have, the better."
The FBI is assisting local investigators in a variety of tactics to try to track down Tibbetts, Mortvedt told NBC, and are concentrating on places in the area that she had been to in the past.
"This could shake out a bunch of different ways," Mortvedt said. "We are hoping and praying for the best outcome."
An FBI spokesman referred questions from Oxygen.com to Mortvedt, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Tibbetts, who NBC reported was watching her boyfriend’s dogs while he worked in Dubuque, went for a run the evening of July 18, when neighbors spotted her on a local road wearing shorts, a black sports bra, and running shoes. At about 7 p.m. she sent a text to her boyfriend, Dalton Jack, and then a SnapChat that he opened around 10 p.m. that night, he told ABC 5 Local.
Tibbetts’ family reported her missing July 19, and the next day the community sprang into action, printing out hundreds of missing fliers and scouring the woods near where she was last seen, but over the weekend, authorities called off the search of the woods, saying they were pursuing other leads to track down the missing woman, according to ABC 5.
A cousin of Tibbetts, Sandi Tibbetts Murphy, wrote on a Facebook group dedicated to the search — which has gained more than 25,000 followers — that investigators were trying to piece together Tibbetts’ digital footprint to see if it supplied any clues to her whereabouts.
“As we get updates from the investigation team, please know that we will share what we can,” Murphy wrote on Facebook. “I know it can be frustrating not to have new information — we feel that too.”
In an interview with ABC 5 Local, Tibbets’ boyfriend said he was bewildered by her disappearance.
“If this is just her running off, nobody would have seen it coming,” he told the news station. “Nobody would have ever guessed that she would take off without telling anybody.”
Jack, who said he and Tibbetts had been dating for about three years, ended the interview with a heartbreaking message to his missing girlfriend.
“I miss you so much, and I love you,” he said.
Tibbetts is described as being about 5-feet-2-inches, weighing about 120 pounds, with long brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to call the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office at (642) 623–5679.
[Photo: Poweshiek County Sheriff's Office]
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