The search for Mollie Tibbetts, the 20-year-old University of Iowa student who disappeared last week, has now focused on a hog farm, CBS News is reporting.
Following a lead, investigators have descended upon the farm near the town of Guernsey, about 15 minutes from Tibbetts’ hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa, which is itself about 70 miles from Des Moines. As of this writing, it is not clear if the property owner is a suspect, nor is it clear if they have found any information or leads at the site of the farm.
At least one murderer has disposed of a body by feeding it to hogs: as Fox News reported in 2007, Canadian mass murderer Robert “Willie” Pickton told prosecutors that he killed at least 49 women and fed their bodies to hogs on his farm.
Meanwhile, searchers are looking at other properties across rural Iowa. The search includes FBI agents, local police, and volunteers, all using dogs, drones, and whatever else is at their disposal, according to Mitch Mortvedt of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI). Speaking to Fox News, he said that “additional sites” may be searched soon as well.
“We’re checking gas stations and convenience stores and any location with easy access to a highway or the interstate. We’re asking questions and collecting surveillance footage and check it to see if Mollie was caught on camera or if there was someone in the area acting suspicious.”
Many of you have heard the news reports of the missing University of Iowa student, Mollie Tibbetts. She was last seen in the town of Brooklyn, IA, 50 miles west of Iowa City. She went missing while out on a run. Please share and help find Mollie. #findingmollietibbetts pic.twitter.com/yGz7smhaAa
— Ames Police (@AmesPolice) July 23, 2018
Meanwhile, police are also hoping Mollie’s personal fitness device – her Fitbit – will give investigators some information as to her whereabouts. She had gone for a jog when she disappeared, and she almost certainly would have worn the device. Police have already issued search warrants for the device’s data, and once they have that, they hope they may be able to pinpoint not only the journey Mollie took but possibly even her current location.
Thomas Yohannan, an expert on data recovery, says the Fitbit may be the key to cracking this case.
“You can actually overlay the location data with the real world to find out what exactly happened. You are essentially trying to find a witness to the events that happened leading up to her missing person.”
Mollie Tibbetts, a 20-year-old University of Iowa sophomore, was last seen on the evening of July 18. She had been staying at the home of her boyfriend, dog-sitting while he was out of town on work. Her boyfriend and his brothers have been ruled out as suspects.