Mollie Tibbetts, a 20-year-old University of Iowa student, went on an evening run almost two weeks ago and has not been seen since, authorities said. Dozens of volunteers and investigators from federal, state and local agencies have scoured ditches, cornfields, empty buildings and pig farms in the small Iowa town of Brooklyn, population of nearly 1,500, searching for the young woman.
“What we need is for people to tell their friends and neighbors that if they saw anything that seemed even remotely out of the ordinary to call the authorities, and they will run that down,” Rob Tibbetts told “Good Morning America.” “The authorities have told us again and again and again that all the similar cases like this are always solved by some tip.”
Last week, investigators said they hope data from a Fitbit that Mollie Tibbetts was wearing when she disappeared, as well as her cellphone and social media accounts, will help them find her. But authorities have remained tight-lipped about what data they have gathered.
Rick Rahn, a special agent in charge at the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said investigators have a “pretty tight timeline” of Tibbetts’s activities before she disappeared, but he said he can’t release any information at this time.
Citing information from family members, CBS affiliate KCCI reported that Tibbetts, who was dog-sitting at her boyfriend’s home, might have come back to the house after her run on the evening of July 18 and may have been doing homework on her computer late that night. Rahn said he’s aware of the KCCI report, but he declined to comment further.
Her last known communication was a Snapchat photo she sent to her boyfriend that night, the Des Moines Register reported. Dalton Jack, who was out of town, said the photo looked as if it was taken indoors, but he couldn’t remember the caption. The following day, Tibbetts didn’t show up to work at a day-care center and didn’t reply to Jack’s “good morning” text message.
Several media outlets have reported that Jack and Tibbetts’s family members aren’t considered suspects. Rahn said he cannot comment on who is and isn’t a suspect.
The day after his daughter disappeared, Rob Tibbetts said, 400 people formed a “spontaneous search effort.”
“I think it’s just because this community knows Mollie, they love Mollie, and I think the rest of the country is starting to understand who she is, too,” he told “Good Morning America.”
Tibbetts was born in San Francisco and moved to Brooklyn with her mother when she was in second grade. She won state speech competitions, was involved in theater and ran cross-country. She was studying psychology, as her mother did.
Cleve R. Wootson and Lindsey Bever contributed to this report.