The boyfriend of Mollie Tibbetts, the young Iowa woman who went missing last week while out for a jog, told reporters he’s confident that she will be found, even as investigators suspended search efforts, according to ABC 5 Local.
Dalton Jack, who said he and Tibbetts have been dating for close to three years, told the news station that he last heard from Tibbetts at about 10:30 p.m. on July 18, the night she went missing.
“If this is just her running off, nobody would have seen it coming,” he said in an interview with ABC 5. “Nobody would have ever guessed that she would take off without telling anybody.”
Jack told ABC 5 that he’s holding out hope, but described himself as numb throughout the ordeal, according to the news station.
“I miss you so much, and I love you,” he said, addressing Tibbetts.
Tibbetts, 20, was last seen on the evening of July 18 in the small town of Brooklyn, Iowa, when a neighbor spotted her out for a run wearing gym shorts, a black sports bra, and running shoes, according to the Des Moines Register.
Tibbetts, a student at the University of Iowa, sent a text at about 7 p.m., and sent a snapchat to Jack that he opened at about 10 p.m. that night, but she has not been heard from since, according to ABC 5.
Jack said he texted and snapchatted her the next morning, but the messages went unread, according to ABC 5. It wasn’t until later that afternoon, while he was working in Dubuque, that her family and friends began to reach out asking if he had from her, he told the station.
"One of her coworkers called me and said Mollie had not called into work that day, and she hadn't showed up," he said in an interview with the station. "And then I looked at the messages and she hadn't opened or read the message, and then I started getting in contact with her friends and family saying 'Have you seen her or heard from?"
When it became clear no one had any idea of where she might be, Jack said he rushed back to Brooklyn to help look for her, according to ABC 5.
Volunteers on Friday papered the town with missing posters and scoured the woods near where Tibbetts was last seen, but authorities called the search off over the weekend, telling news outlets they were pursuing other leads.
In a post to a Facebook group created to find her, a cousin of Tibbetts said police were trying to piece together Tibbetts’ digital footprint in the days and hours leading up to her disappearance in the hopes that it might shed light on her whereabouts.
Few details have been forthcoming about the search, but family members asked the public to keep sending any relevant tips and let investigators do their job.
“As we get updates from the investigation team, please know that we will share what we can, wrote the cousin, Sandi Tibbetts Murphy, on Facebook. “I know it can be frustrating not to have new information — we feel that too.”
Tibbetts is described as being about 5-feet-two-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]