The father of Mollie Tibbetts, a 20-year-old University of Iowa student whose body was found in a cornfield last month, said he received a racist robocall in which a white nationalist called Tibbetts’ relatives traitors to their race.
Rob Tibbetts told the Des Moines Register that the recording claimed that if his daughter could be brought back to life, her stance on undocumented immigrants would be to "kill them all.” The recorded message also claimed that Mollie was killed by an “invader from Mexico" and that she would likely want the “brown horde” gone if she had a voice today, Newsweek reported.
The grieving father received the call last Tuesday, just one week after his daughter's remains had been found.
"It was unbelievably painful," Rob Tibbetts told the publication, adding that the message caused his wife, Mollie’s stepmother, to become physically ill. "It was everything that’s dark and wrong in America right now."
The robocall was paid for by The Road to Power, a white nationalist group, according to the Des Moines Register.
Members of the Tibbetts family have spoken out to the press, urging against using their slain loved one's memory for political fodder.
“Mollie was nobody’s victim. Nor is she a pawn in others’ debate. She may not be able to speak for herself, but I can and will,” Rob Tibbetts wrote in a column published Saturday by the Des Moines Register.
“Please leave us out of your debate,” the heartbroken dad wrote.
He added that his stepdaughter, “whom Mollie loved so dearly, is Latina. Her sons — Mollie’s cherished nephews and my grandchildren — are Latino. That means I am Hispanic. I am African. I am Asian. I am European. My blood runs from every corner of the Earth because I am American. As an American, I have one tenet: to respect every citizen of the world and actively engage in the ongoing pursuit to form a more perfect union.”
Mollie's suspected killer, 24-year-old Mexican national Cristhian Rivera, led officials to her body last month. His arrest was followed by a national uproar and controversy surrounding his immigration status.
Representatives of the farm where Rivera worked initially claimed to have confirmed his legal residency in the United States, but backtracked after admitting it did not use a government-backed digital verification system to check his immigration status.
Rivera approached the student on July 18, as she was going for an evening jog 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 Mollie’s body in the trunk of his car. He said he dragged her corpse from his vehicle to a secluded location in a cornfield, the affidavit says. A preliminary autopsy report revealed that Mollie died from “homicide resulting from multiple sharp force injuries.”
[Photo: Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation]