Mollie Tibbetts

Mollie Tibbetts: Reward for missing college student’s safe return reaches $172K

The mother of missing college student Mollie Tibbetts, along with Crime Stoppers, announced on Thursday that a volunteer-funded reward fund has reached $172,000. The family hopes the reward offer will lead to tips on Mollie’s whereabouts.

CBS8 Des Moines reports that Laura Calderwood, mother of 20-year-old missing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts, announced during a Thursday morning press conference that the reward fund is intended for the safe return of her daughter, who she feels is still alive.

“We believe Mollie is still alive and if someone has abducted her, we are pleading with you to please release her. We are partnering with Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa to help facilitate the process of receiving information anonymously.”

Mollie’s boyfriend, Dalton Blake, also spoke about Mollie, pleading for her safe return.

“If they’re listening then I would just like them to know that, imagine this was you. Everyone has a Mollie a their life, a person that has affected her or them in a way that she affected everybody standing up here right now.”

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Mollie has not been or heard from since July 18. She disappeared after going to her boyfriend’s house in Brooklyn, Iowa, to dog-sit while he worked out of town. Anyone with any information is urged to contact the tip line at 800-452-1111 or 515-223-1400. Tips can also be sent via email to tips@poweshiekcosheriff.com.

Mollie Tibbetts
Mollie Tibbetts [Handout]

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.

July 18

  • 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.

July 19

  • 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.

July 20

  • 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.

July 22

  • Authorities announce Mollie is still missing and that nothing was found during the searches.

July 23

  • 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.

July 25

  • 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.

July 26

  • Investigators search two hog farms after following up on tips, but the searches yield no results.

July 27

  • 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.

Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

[Feature Photo: Mollie Tibbetts/Handout]