Authorities in Iowa are focusing on farm areas, a car wash and a truck stop in their search to find missing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts who went missing on July 18 after going for an evening jog.
On Monday the website Findingmollie.iowa.gov, a joint effort between the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the Poweshiek County Sheriff's Office and the FBI, was launched.
The website features a map of Brooklyn, Iowa with five highlighted areas. Police are looking to speak to witnesses who were in those areas between the hours of 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. on the day Tibbetts went missing.
The highlighted areas include a high school and a general store and gas station. A few scattered houses are in view of Casey’s General Store and gas station. The high school is located near a residential area but there also appear to be some secluded fields and farm areas according to a satellite view of the area. D&M Car Wash, which is inside one of the highlighted areas is located across the street from a tire stop. KSKB-FM, a local radio station is also inside the highlighted spot.
Another area of police focus is a truck stop and a Dunkin Donuts off of Interstate-80. The surrounding area appears to be secluded farmland. Farm areas next to Big Bear Creek, a waterway that spans across 20 miles Northeast and into the Iowa River, is another area of interest. Earlier this month, police questioned an area pig farmer named Wayne Cheney. The FBI has reportedly searched his property.
“Although we have not ruled out any scenario that could explain Mollie’s disappearance, we must consider the possibility that foul play is involved,” the website states. “Individuals who commit violent crimes often exhibit behavior that is recognized by those with whom he lives, works, attends school, or is in an otherwise close relationship with.”
It goes on to note that people may notice a behavioral shift in someone who committed a crime.
Police are looking to the public for help, and the case has attracted thousands of concerned citizens. A Facebook group, “Finding Mollie Tibbetts,” currently has over 60,000 members.
[Photos: Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation]