Mollie Tibbetts’ cause of death has been revealed, according to WHO-TV.
According to an official statement from the Iowa State Medical Examiner, the Iowa woman died of “multiple sharp force injuries,” which is to say, she was stabbed, multiple times. In the same statement, the Medical Examiner’s office officially concluded that the body found last week in a Poweshiek County corn field was definitively that of the missing woman.
As of this writing, autopsy results are still pending, and information about the results is being released little-by-little. It remains unclear, for example, if Mollie was sexually assaulted before she was murdered, nor has a murder weapon been located.
Twenty-year-old Mollie Tibbetts vanished on July 18, 2018, after she went out for a morning jog in Brooklyn, Iowa, where she had been house-sitting at her boyfriend’s home while he was out of town for work. For weeks, her story captivated the nation as the woman had seemingly disappeared without a trace.
For a while it was believed that she may have been abducted and then kept alive as authorities were searching for her, and held out hope that she would be found alive. Reports even suggested that her alleged abductor was “hiding in plain sight,” and had even attended vigils for her.
— The Hill (@thehill) August 23, 2018
Hope that Mollie would be found alive was dashed this week when officials found the body that they believed to be her, and which was later confirmed to be her. Police have arrested 24-year-old Christhian Rivera, who worked on a nearby farm, and charged him with first-degree murder.
It is not clear how long Mollie had been with Rivera before he allegedly murdered her. He claims that he abducted Mollie, then blacked out from stress, and woke up to find her belongings in his possession. He is currently being held on $5 million bond.
According to some reports, Rivera was working in the country illegally, having presented fake documentation to secure his job. His attorney, however, disputes that.
Meanwhile, as reported by the Inquisitr, Mollie’s death has ignited a debate about using her murder in the narrative about immigration. Several prominent Republicans, including Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, and conservative think-tank Turning Point USA have all discussed Mollie’s murder in the same breath as remarks about illegal immigration. At least two people purporting to be family members of the murdered woman have asked that their relative’s murder not be used as a talking point about the illegal immigration issue.
This is a developing story. More information about the results of Mollie Tibbetts’ autopsy will be reported as they become available.