After a month of searching for his daughter, Rob Tibbetts, the father of missing Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts, has decided to fly home to California, The Des Moines Register reported Sunday.
“Very reluctantly, I’m being told I sort of need to do this,” Tibbetts told KCRG-TV. “We’ve called this sort of a halftime, a break.”
Mr. Tibbetts’s return to the San Francisco area comes after weeks of helping law enforcement search for Mollie and spread awareness about the 20-year-old’s sudden disappearance on July 18. He arrived in Iowa last month with four days’ worth of clothes, the Register reported. But what he thought would be a few days at most turned into a restless 4-week stay.
Authorities have encouraged Tibbetts and his family to return to their day-to-day lives, he told KCRG. He remains confident, however, that Mollie will be found alive.
“I still feel that way, we all feel that way, that’s why it’s difficult,” he said. “I want to be there when she arrives.”
Mollie Tibbetts was last seen jogging in the town of Brooklyn, Iowa, on the night she went missing. But after hundreds of interviews and a reward that has climbed to a record high of $331,000, authorities have yet to announce any major developments in the search for the young woman.
Rob Tibbetts recently traveled to the Iowa State Fair with his aunt, Mary K. Tibbetts, and Mollie’s boyfriend, Dalton Jack, where they handed out flyers, t-shirts and buttons.
Rob Tibbetts, Mollie's father, took to the Iowa State Fair to spread the word of her disappearance. https://t.co/qHRCVxNLkQ
— KCRG (@KCRG) August 11, 2018
“Nothing is too big or too small,” Jack said. “Just let the authorities decide what’s worth investigating.”
Speaking to Fox News earlier this month, Mr. Tibbetts said that he feels the power of all the prayers being poured out for his daughter.
“Mollie’s very spiritual, and so is her brother Scott and so we talked about that quite a bit,” Tibbetts said.
“There’s sort of a collective force in the country right now,” he added. “There’s a will to bring Mollie back and I subscribe to that. I think there’s real power in the ability to pull Mollie back from wherever she is so everybody pray and everybody think positive thoughts.”
Vice President Mike Pence met with Mollie’s family last week during a visit to Iowa. After delivering a speech in Des Moines, Pence told Rob Tibbetts and other family members in a private meeting that they are “on the hearts of every American.”
Mr. Tibbetts has commended community members, law enforcement and the media for contributing to the nationwide effort to locate his daughter. The show of support has been overwhelming.
“It’s a very humbling experience,” he told the Register.
In an August 5 interview, Tibbetts expressed his confidence that Mollie is still alive.
“It’s totally speculation on my part, but I think Mollie is with someone that she knows, that is in over their head,” he told Fox. “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 bottom line is somebody knows something,” he said, noting that Brooklyn is a small city where “you can’t do anything there without someone seeing it.”
On July 19, Mollie’s boyfriend messaged her and received no response. He told her family members, who filed a missing persons report.
Last week, as the search hit its four-week mark, law enforcement launched findingmollie.iowa.gov, a website where members of the public can submit tips regarding Mollie’s possible whereabouts.
Please join Faithwire in continuing to pray for Mollie’s safe return home.