Inside the quiet neighborhood where Mollie Tibbetts was last seen

University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts was last seen on July 18 in a quaint neighborhood that sits along the outskirts of the small town of Brooklyn, Iowa.

Mollie, a 20-year-old who was taking online classes during her summer break while working at a nearby daycare, was dog-sitting at her boyfriend Dalton’s house, just a mile or so away from her mother’s home, when she vanished. Dalton’s home sits off of a quiet paved road surrounded, rows upon perfectly-lined rows of corn fields that jut upward at least 7 feet high.

The home, off of W Des Moines Street on the outskirts of Brooklyn, belongs to Dalton’s brother, Blake Jack, who purchased it just months before Mollie disappeared. According to Zillow, the two-story white home has four bedrooms, with three located on its top floor and one located on the first floor. The home also has a dry basement, complete with shelving and a workbench, one full bathroom, and a “3/4” bathroom.

Posted by Allie M Houghton on Thursday, April 26, 2018


Outside, the residence sits on a little less than half an acre, with large mature trees, a grape vine and asparagus patch in its yard, and a two-car garage attached on its right side. The home was built in 1915 but photos indicate that it has been meticulously taken care of.

It was inside the picturesque home where Mollie worked on a school project on her laptop on July 18, while watching two large dogs belonging to Blake and his fiance. Investigators reported the last time Mollie logged onto her laptop was at some point during the evening of July 18, but they did not specify an exact time. Investigators also combed through every inch of the home, both inside and out, and let the two dogs out of the basement area. Both pups were found safe and in good health.

The T.I.P Rural Electric Cooperative company building is situated next door to the home, on the left-hand side. It’s a small brick building divided off by a paved driveway and a patch of yard area, with just enough privacy to where Mollie could have left the home undetected. Other homes line the street, but unlike newly-built houses that almost sit on top of each other with a proximity so close it’s easy to hear a next-door conversation, these homes are spread out enough to provide individual privacy to residents.

[Photo: Google Maps/Sept. 2013]
Mollie, an avid jogger, took a jog on July 18 before returning to her boyfriend’s residence. At least two neighbors have come forward so far and claimed to have seen her that day as she made her way down the rural road. One neighbor said she was jogging while another said she was walking casually and “nonchalantly.”

Earlier this week, Dalton said that the neighborhood is so safe that most people don’t lock their doors at night. He indicated that there was a good possibility that Mollie didn’t bother to lock the doors when she arrived back to the home from her jog.

Fast forward to almost two weeks later, and Mollie remains missing. Investigators are currently searching nearby hog farms and following up on every possible lead.

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 goes unanswered.
  • 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 called Laura Calderwood and said Mollie never made it to work at a daycare center. Laura called 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 announced 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 told ABC he’s optimistic about Mollie’s return.
  • Laura Calderwood said her daughter is an “outgoing, fun, loving life, loving person.”
  • Poweshiek County Sheriff Thomas Kriegel announced 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 indicated 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 hair 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.

[Feature Photo: Mollie Tibbetts/Handout]