More than 1,200 people turned out to celebrate the life of slain college student Mollie Tibbetts during an emotional funeral service Sunday afternoon.
"Today we need to turn the page. We're at the end of a long ordeal," her father Rob Tibbetts told the crowd, according to The Des Moines Register. "But we need to turn toward life—Mollie's life—because Mollie's nobody's victim. Mollie's my hero."
Rob Tibbetts and other family members who eulogized the 20-year-old focused on the kindness and compassion that embodied the young psychology major. Mollie Tibbetts was abducted July 18 while jogging in the small town of Brooklyn, Iowa.
Rob Tibbetts asked funeral attendees to "turn toward the light" and said it was now a time for healing, Fox News reported.
During the service, he took a moment to celebrate a young couple in attendance who had gotten married the day before, telling the crowd "that's what Mollie would have done" and highlighted the recent win by the the Brooklyn-Guernsey-Malcom High School football team, The Register reported. Mollie Tibbetts' youngest brother, Scott Tibbetts, had been the quarterback for the team.
Her cousin, Morgan Collum, also spoke to the packed crowed asking attendees not to be mad God took Tibbetts away.
"Rather, praise God for his perfect creation in making a soul so sweet, so pure and so caring to all," she said, according to The Register.
One of Tibbetts' younger brothers, Jake Tibbetts, said his sister brought people together.
"You've seen how hard Mollie is working upstairs in heaven," he said, according to Fox News.
Sunday's funeral was a sad end to themore than month-long search for Tibbetts, that elicited help from the FBI and Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations. Her body was found Tuesday in a field covered with corn stalks. Investigators were reportedly led to the body by Cristhian Rivera, who has been charged with murder in the case.
While there was no casket or urn at the service on Sunday, several photos of Tibbetts were displayed at the Brooklyn-Guernsey-Malcom High gymnasium, where the service was held. A makeshift altar, covered in a white cloth, had been constructed for the Mass of the Resurrection to honor Tibbetts.
"Do not let Mollie die in vain," the Rev. Corey Close, told the crowd according to the Register. "Rededicate yourselves to live a good life, a faithful life, a life of goodness and compassion."
[Photo: Poweshiek County Sheriff's Office]