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Doctors Reveal Mollie Tibbetts' Cause Of Death As Grief, Outrage Flare Over Her Murder

A preliminary autopsy report Thursday shed light on how the 20-year-old University of Iowa student was slain.

By Gina Tron

The findings of a preliminary autopsy conducted on University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts were released on Thursday, revealing that the 20-year-old died from “homicide resulting from multiple sharp force injuries.''

No details were given about the weapon used in the slaying, according to the Iowa Department of Public Safety.

However, “sharp force injuries" can be similar to that of stab wounds, according to the medical news site Medscape.

The autopsy has officially confirmed that the body is in fact Tibbetts. Up until Thursday, the remains were not positively identified. It is not yet clear when she died.

Tibbetts' suspected killer, 24-year-old Cristhian Rivera, led officials to her body, police announced on Tuesday.

Rivera approached Tibbetts as she was running on July 18, and she threatened to call the cops, according to court documents obtained by Oxygen.com.

The exchange enraged Rivera, according to the documents, and he claims he blacked out before coming to at an intersection with Tibbetts' body in the trunk of his car.

Rivera said he does remember seeing Tibbetts’ headphones in his lap, or removing her bloodied body from his trunk.

“The defendant further described during the interview that he dragged Tibbetts on foot from his vehicle to a secluded location in a cornfield,” the affidavit says.

Rivera, who was arraigned on Wednesday, is being held on a $5 million cash bond. His arrest led to a national uproar and controversy surrounding his immigration status.

Grieving family and friends are remembering Tibbetts as loving and authentic.

Her brother urged vigil attendees to make new friends in her honor on Wednesday night.

Tibbetts was "the most genuine person I’ve ever met in my life, and I think I speak for many when I say that," her friend Annie Zeimis told Oxygen.com.

"I think that she’d want us to focus on getting justice for her regardless of the murderer’s color, immigration status, etc," she said.

Several of Tibbetts’ relatives have expressed sadness that Tibbetts’ death has become political fodder.

[Photos: Facebook, Iowa Department of Public Safety]