Earlier this week, the month-long search for missing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts came to a devastating close, with the discovery of the young woman’s body. Her suspected killer, 24-year-old Christian Bahena Rivera was arrested and charged Tuesday with first-degree murder, and a trial will begin next week.
On Wednesday, the Iowa State Medical Examiner confirmed that the body found Tuesday morning was that of Tibbetts, who was last seen jogging in Brooklyn, Iowa, on the evening of July 18. Initial reports ruled the cause of death to be homicide resulting from multiple “sharp force injuries.” Further examination is still underway, KWWL-TV reported.
A funeral for Tibbetts will be held on Sunday, August 26, in the gym of the BGM High School in Brooklyn, Iowa, at 2 p.m., KOLN-TV reported. The 20-year-old’s family has asked that memorial donations be made to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
Contributions can be mailed in care of the Smith Funeral Home, P.O. Box 368, Grinnell, Iowa 50112.
The young college student’s sudden disappearance sparked international interest. In the weeks since Mollie vanished, stories about the kindhearted, faith-filled young woman have circulated in news reports and on social media.
“There’s sort of a collective force in the country right now,” Mollie’s father, Rob Tibbetts, said in an interview earlier this month. “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.”
“No matter how little faith you have, you can work miracles,” Mollie’s mother, Laura Calderwood, said during the investigation. “And know that there’s a whole world out there praying for Mollie.”
In a 2016 video of Mollie that resurfaced online in the wake of her disappearance, an 18-year-old Tibbetts shares how prayer has impacted her life.
“What your testimony is, is showing everyone the strength that God has given you,” she said.
Please join Faithwire in praying for Mollie’s loved ones during this time of unimaginable grief.