Reports of a possible sighting of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts prompted authorities in western Missouri to respond after numerous Facebook users shared a disturbing post on Wednesday.
CBS8 reports that Sgt. Joe Kantola, with the Kearney, Missouri, PD, stated that calls and messages poured in after someone on Facebook claimed they saw a young woman who they thought looked like 20-year-old Mollie at a local truck stop off of Interstate 35 and Missouri 92 Highway. The Facebook user posted that the person resembling Mollie “might have been drugged, looked disoriented and was with a truck driver.”
When officers arrived to the scene, however, they did not find anyone matching Mollie’s description.
“Officers conducted a thorough search, spoke with all possible witnesses and reviewed all available footage,” Kantola explained.
Kantola also stated that had any of the officers spotted Mollie in the surveillance footage, it would have been included in his statement, according to ABC9. He also confirmed only one person at the truck stop said they saw someone who looked like Mollie.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation spokesperson wouldn’t confirm whether or not the tip was legitimate but did say they were aware of it.
Meanwhile, according to the “Finding Mollie Tibbetts” Facebook group, the UI college student’s family set up a reward fund for her return, funded my volunteer donors. Family member Sandi Tibbetts Murphy wrote that a $30,000 reward is currently being offered.
Further, T.I.P Rural Electric Cooperative announced it will add $1,000 to another reward fund, for information that leads to Mollie and to the arrest of the suspect or suspects responsible for her disappearance. The rewards comes after Crimes Stoppers of Central Iowa announced a $1,000 reward as well.
Timeline of Mollie’s disappearance
- Mollie’s boyfriend saw her for the last time on July 16, before leaving town to work at a Dubuque construction site with his brother, around 100 miles away from Brooklyn.
- On July 17, Dalton and his brother, who lives with him, drove to work. Mollie agreed to dog-sit while he was gone.
- At around 5:30 p.m. on July 17, Mollie’s brother, Jake Tibbetts, who shares a car with her, dropped her off at Dalton’s home. Mollie stayed alone while watching the dogs.
- Investigators report another neighbor reported Mollie out for a jog at around 7:30 p.m. on July 18.
- Mollie had plans to go to her mother’s house for dinner on the evening on July 18. She never showed up.
- At 10 p.m. on July 18, Dalton opened the SnapChat message from Mollie. He said it looked like she took the photo while indoors. It’s unclear when Mollie took the picture but detectives think she took it at some point on Wednesday.
- Jake Tibbetts, who has been cleared as a suspect, sends Mollie a text message at 7:30 a.m., asking if she needed the car for work. The text message was not read.
- Dalton sends Mollie a text message, wishing her a good morning. Mollie does not read the text message.
- Mollie’s mother, Laura Calderwood, sends Mollie several text messages throughout the afternoon. All text messages remain unanswered.
- Jake Tibbetts calls Laura Calderwood and says Mollie never made it to work at a daycare center. Laura calls the police.
- The Facebook group, “Finding Mollie Tibbetts,” was created. It currently has over 40,000 members.
- Hundreds of people show up in the Brooklyn area to search for Mollie.
- The Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office announces that tips should directed to its office.
- The University of Iowa released a statement on Twitter that the school is also monitoring the incident and looking for any helpful information.
- Authorities announce Mollie is still missing and that nothing was found during the searches.
- Dalton tells ABC he’s optimistic about Mollie’s return.
- Laura Calderwood says her daughter is an “outgoing, fun, loving life, loving person.”
- Poweshiek County Sheriff Thomas Kriegel announces that no one from the “tight-knit” community in Brooklyn has been missing this long.
- Investigators continue to follow up with tips and leads.
- The family spreads the search even further by distributing flyers across the state.
- Kriegel indicates Mollie could have possibly been abducted.
- Investigators search two hog farms after following up on tips, but the searches yield no results.
- Iowa Department of Public Safety released a statement announcing that there are still no suspects but authorities will continue to pursue leads and investigate.
- A neighbor tells a local media outlet that he spotted Mollie “walking nonchalantly” down the street.
Mollie has long brown and brown eyes and weighs around 120 pounds and stands 5-feet-2 inches tall. She was last seen wearing running shoes, a pink sports bra, and dark running shorts.
Anyone with any information on Mollie’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office at (641) 623-5679 or email at tips@
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Mollie Tibbetts/Handout]