Undocumented Immigrant Christhian Rivera Arrested, Charged With Murder In Mollie Tibbetts Case

Mollie Tibbetts
Mollie Tibbetts / Facebook

An arrest has finally been made in the case of missing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts.

Earlier today, it was announced that there was a break in the case when the body of a young woman was found in a rural field in Poweshiek County, Iowa. The body that was recovered is believed to be that of Mollie Tibbetts but the identity has yet to be confirmed by authorities.

According to the Washington Post, 24-year-old Christhian Behena Rivera, who is an undocumented immigrant, was arrested this afternoon after he led authorities to Tibbetts’ body. ABC News shares that Rivera lives in the rural area where Tibbetts first went missing. He has reportedly lived and worked in the area for the past four to seven years.

Rick Rahn of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation announced earlier today that Rivera has been charged with first-degree murder. According to People, authorities first approached Rivera on Monday and led detectives to Tibbetts’ body earlier this morning. The body had been dumped in a cornfield in Guernsey, Iowa, which is about a 15-minute drive from Brooklyn, Iowa, where Mollie first went missing.

According to police, Rivera admitted to approaching Mollie when she was on an evening jog. Mollie, who became frightened when she was approached, threatened to call the police at one point. Rahn said that Rivera then confessed that he caught up with Tibbetts and a struggle ensued. It was at that point that the 24-year-old says that he “blacked out.”

Surveillance footage led police to their suspect, according to Rahn.

“Through that we were able to identify a vehicle that we believed belonged to Mr. Rivera. From that we were able to track his patterns and the routes that he took. We were also able to find Mollie running on this video and we were able to determine that he was one of the last ones to have seen Mollie running.”

As the Inquisitr previously reported, Mollie was last seen jogging through her hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa, on July 18. She was dog sitting for her boyfriend, Dalton Jack, and his brother, but was reported missing the following day when she failed to show up for her job at a local daycare. She was last seen around 7:30 p.m. local time and Jack said that he did receive a Snapchat message from Mollie that evening where she appeared to be indoors.

An award fund for tips leading to an arrest in the case was set up and the donations had reached upwards of $400,000 before Rivera was taken into custody.