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Crime News Breaking News

Mollie Tibbetts, Missing University Of Iowa Student, Reportedly Found Dead

Tibbetts' family had been holding out hope she'd be found alive after vanishing more than a month ago. 

By Ethan Harfenist
Mollie Tibbetts

The body of Mollie Tibbetts, a University of Iowa student who has been missing for over a month, has been found, according to multiple reports.

"Earlier today a body was located by law enforcement authorities in rural Poweshiek County," the Iowa Department of Public Safety said in a press release Tuesday. "Investigators are working to confirm the identity..."

Greg Willey, the vice president of Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa, meanwhile, told the Associated Press that a body found on Tuesday is thought to be Tibbetts’. 

Both CBS News and Fox News are reporting the body is indeed Tibbetts.

As of now, there has been no information disclosed about where the body was discovered. 

Willey added that the roughly $400,000 reward for finding Tibbetts will now serve as a fund for information that points in the direction of any suspects in the case.

Tibbetts, 20, disappeared on July 18, and was last seen going out for a jog in the rural town of Brooklyn, Iowa. She was dog-sitting for her boyfriend Dalton Jack when she vanished.

“She might have a FitBit on and she might have her cellphone, but obviously we’ve tried just calling her but it’s either off or dead so it would go straight to voicemail,” Dalton told ABC News early in the search effort.

Authorities had searched relentlessly for Tibbetts at first, but eventually called off an official search party. Her father, Rob Tibbetts, had flown to Iowa shortly after she disappeared and became a major part of the search for his daughter, joining other family and community members in their efforts.

When asked by CBS News earlier in August about why the search for his missing daughter has inspired such widespread support, Rob Tibbetts said, "I think it's because people see in Mollie their own daughters, their own girlfriend, their own sister."

Additionally, he told the outlet that if he could talk with his daughter, he'd tell her to "hang on...We're gonna come get you. Everybody's looking."

Rob Tibbetts also speculated that someone she knew is responsible for the disappearance. 

"I think someone went to the house that Mollie knew or that Mollie trusted and that she left with them willingly," he told CBS News. "Now they're in over their head and they don't know what to do."

Authorities said they received over 2,300 tips after the student’s disappearance, according to KCCI.Facebook profiles aiding in the search were also set up, as were official websites such as findingmollie.iowa.gov.

The government website, in particular, asked locals and potential witnesses to submit any additional information about five places in and around Brooklyn that investigators had identified areas of interests. The locations were farm areas, a car wash, and a truck stop.

[Photo: Poweshiek County Sheriff's Office]