A former FBI profiler has asserted her belief that missing college student Mollie Tibbetts is with someone she knew, as authorities get no closer to finding the 20-year-old after she vanished over three weeks ago.
Mary Ellen O’Toole, a former FBI profiler and director of the forensic sciences program at George Mason University, told Fox News that in a small town such as Brooklyn, it would be highly unlikely for a stranger not to be spotted. “To have a complete stranger to come into a small town like this, someone would have come forward and mentioned that they’ve seen this person,” she explained.
“She was likely not kidnapped. She either got into the car of someone she knew or had a relationship with, or it was someone who had a non-threatening demeanor.”
The former FBI agent added, “If she was just kidnapped, it would be a hard feat to pull off.”
The investigator noted that Mollie “doesn’t sound like the type of girl who would run away and start a new life,” and that “if she is as close to her mom and dad and others, she wouldn’t have just run off.”
It has been reported that local pig farmer Wayne Cheney, who has been questioned in connection with the disappearance of the student, finally agreed to take a polygraph test earlier this week.
Cheney, who allowed investigators to search his 70-acre property and was questioned for two hours on July 31, told Fox News that he’d completed the lie detector test earlier this week. Cheney detailed that authorities questioned him about Mollie’s disappearance, but continues to insist that he had nothing to do with it, and that “some guy probably has her.”
Police have yet to confirm whether or not Cheney is a suspect, but he has not been charged nor arrested in connection with Mollie Tibbetts, who disappeared more than three weeks ago while out for an evening jog in the town of Brooklyn, Iowa. Cheney declared that he “has nothing to hide.”
The hog farmer, whose property is located thirteen miles south from where Mollie was last seen, previously refused to take the test, telling the Des Moines Register: “I don’t need to. It’s stupid.”
Despite having some 20 federal agents involved in the search, authorities are no closer to locating Mollie. More than $300,000 has been offered to anyone possessing information that leads to her safe return.
A local man from the area where the University of Iowa student went missing has said he is likely to be the last person to see her before she vanished.
In an interview with “Good Morning America,” Devin Riley said he contacted the Powoshiek County Sheriff’s Office in Central Iowa after Mollie was reported missing, saying that he was the “last person to see her.”
“I wish I did know more, but I dread that maybe I was the last person to see her,” Riley explained. “I remembered seeing her that night. I just felt very weird. Who knows when she was taken in that timeline, but I don’t know what happened.”
The man stated he saw the college student jog past his house around 9 p.m. on the night of her disappearance, and his description of what she was wearing exactly matched that of the official report.
“I’ve seen her probably three to four times per week. She’d kind of jog down the street and towards the hill,” he continued. “I thought nothing of it until I heard somebody was missing, and it really hit me that I hadn’t seen that runner since then.”
I remember her,” he added. “She was wearing like a neon pink sports bra with black khaki yoga pants and an armband with her music device, or phone … hair in a ponytail, just jogging like normal, any other day.”
Though admitting he was initially apprehensive about coming forward with his information, after seeing Mollie’s family plead for any potential leads, he decided it was for the best. After giving a statement, the cops were quick to show up at his house.
Riley said that investigators requested a search or “walkthrough” his property.
“It was pretty terrifying at the beginning because I didn’t know what was going on,” he said. “I panicked and I put my girls in the bathroom, but they were really polite … just did the walkthrough and were out in like 10 to 15 minutes.”
Authorities are following up on hundreds of leads, but are keeping tight-lipped on any breakthroughs they might have had in order to preserve the integrity of the investigation.
Mollie’s father, Rob, believes that his daughter is with someone she knows.
“I do really believe that what happened to Mollie wasn’t that someone set out to harm her,” Rob Tibbetts said Monday. “I think because they haven’t found Mollie, that Mollie is still some place, and we can get her home.”
“It’s gut-wrenching to know that I could have my daughter out here, and I could go inside for a minute and she could be gone,” added Riley. “You assume when you move to a small town that pretty much everyone is close close-knit, everyone knows everyone … you just do not expect it to happen in a town like this.”
Faithwire spoke to Devin Riley, who noted that it was “disheartening” to receive so many negative responses after he went public with his crucial information.
Yesterday, Blake Jack, the brother of Mollie Tibbetts’ boyfriend, told Fox News that there was no sign of struggle at the home Mollie was staying in. Tibbetts was dog-sitting for her boyfriend, Dalton Jack, while he was working out of town.
“She’s small, but she would have done something,” Blake explained, noting that he finds it hard to fathom that locals would not have see or heard anything had Mollie been abducted while running.
“If something happened while on a run, people—like you see right now—our neighbors are outside and would have heard something.” he added.