The reward the family is offering for the safe return of the missing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts is ballooning to a record-breaking $277,178. ABC News reports the sudden spike in the reward total comes after all the donations from the weekend were added. In total, 141 donors consisting of both individuals and businesses have contributed to the reward total for the safe return of Mollie.
Relatives of the Iowa college student still remain hopeful Mollie is still alive but has potentially been kidnapped. Speaking to Fox News, Mollie’s father believes his daughter may be with someone she is familiar with that has gotten in over their head.
“It’s totally speculation on my part, but I think Mollie is with someone that she knows, that is in over their head,” Rob Tibbetts explained to Fox News.
“My two cents is that no one went into that house to hurt her,” he added.
Rob speculates that because they haven’t found Mollie’s body, there’s still a strong possibility she is alive somewhere.
“That there was some kind of misunderstanding about the nature of their relationship and at this point they don’t know how to get out from under this. The longer we go without finding Mollie’s body, the more hopeful we are that she’s alive somewhere and going through something that she can survive.”
Tibbets continues to urge anyone with information regarding his daughter to come forward. He also urges anyone who might be with his daughter right now to just call authorities and “put an end to this.”
“Let Mollie come home and hold yourself accountable for what you’ve done so far, but don’t escalate this to a point where you can’t recover yourself,” Rob pleaded.
Mollie Tibbetts' father speaks out: I believe she's still alive, and with somebody she knows. https://t.co/pZLUYhK89w
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 6, 2018
As those who have been following the story know, it was on July 18 that Mollie went missing from Brooklyn, Iowa. Those close to the college student became suspicious when she didn’t arrive at work. Investigators remain tight-lipped about some of the finer details they believe may help solve the case.
These basic details include whether they believe Mollie made it back home after her evening jog. At this time, they are not speculating on what they believed happened or what theories they are currently working on.
University of Iowa sophomore Mollie Tibbetts, 20, was last seen on the evening of July 18, 2018 in Brooklyn, Iowa. Her family is begging for help. Can you, or someone you know, help find Mollie? #Dateline https://t.co/oDGfmgXZUE pic.twitter.com/jzDizz7D2X
— Dateline NBC (@DatelineNBC) July 31, 2018
Over the last few weeks, investigators have conducted hundreds of interviews, fielded hundreds of tips, and carried out tons of fingertip searches in the cornfields surrounding the community.
Mollie was staying the night – by herself – at the home of her boyfriend Dalton Jack who was over 100 miles away at a job the night she disappeared. She took her evening jog around 7:30 p.m. and Jack said his last contact with his girlfriend was around 10 p.m. via Snapchat.
At this time, conflicting evidence makes it unclear as to whether Mollie went missing later that night – after speaking to her boyfriend – or sometime the next morning.