Investigators Turn To Fitbit Data In Hunt For Missing University Of Iowa Student

Mollie's digital footprint is being analyzed to help track her movements in the lead-up to her disappearance

Investigators as turning to Mollie Tibbetts Fitbit to try to locate her
Poweshiek County Sheriff's Office

Mollie's digital footprint is being analyzed to help track her movements in the lead-up to her disappearance

As the search for University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts, 20, gets ready to enter its eighth day, investigators are turning to Mollie’s digital footprint in order to locate the missing woman.

Mollie Tibbetts went missing sometime after she took a jog in her hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa, on Wednesday, July 18. Since then, there hasn’t been any contact from the student and foul play is now being considered.

U.S. News is now reporting that investigators involved with the case have turned to Mollie’s digital footprint in hopes of being able to pinpoint her location.

Search warrants have been issued for Fitbit, Instagram, and Snapchat. Previously, it had been reported that Mollie sent a Snapchat to her boyfriend, Dalton Jack, on Wednesday night. It is believed that this Snapchat was sent after her jog.

Friends and family of Ms. Tibbetts have stated that Mollie was an “avid runner” and usually wore her Fitbit. If this is the case, then investigators may be able to pinpoint her location using data obtained from her Fitbit device.

As a result of the digital information obtained, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation spokesman Mitch Mortvedt has stated that investigators believe they have “put together a pretty solid timeline” in regard to Mollie’s movements leading up to the last time she was seen on Wednesday evening.

In addition to warrants being issued for her online and digital movements, KCRG also reports that Ms. Tibbetts’ cellphone details have been obtained.

While the digital leads are promising, it could be some time before all the data is sifted through and analyzed.

“We wish it could go faster, too,” Mitch Mortvedt said. “As you can imagine, it can be massive amounts of data we’re going through.”

The FBI is also involved in the case of Mollie Tibbetts’ disappearance. Media outlet 9News states that the FBI is confident that data contained within Mollie’s Fitbit could help locate her. Mortvedt also states that he is relying “heavily” on the FBI in regard to Mollie’s digital footprint.

Ms. Tibbetts had been staying at her boyfriend’s place at the time she went missing in order to look after his dogs while he worked “a construction job about 100 miles northeast in Dubuque,” according to US News. Tibbetts’ boyfriend is not considered a suspect in her disappearance according to KCRG. Poweshiek County Sheriff Tom Kriegel also confirmed that her brothers were not under suspicion either.

For anyone with information pertaining to this case, please email the sheriff’s office at or call 641-623-5679.