An Iowa man who saw missing college student Mollie Tibbetts jogging on the evening before she was reported missing may have been the last person to see her before she vanished.
In an interview with “Good Morning America,” Brooklyn, Iowa, resident Devin Riley explained how he noticed Mollie jogging by his home on July 18, at around 8 p.m., less than a mile away from her boyfriend’s house. He said she was wearing a neon pink sports bra, black yoga pants, and an armband for her phone.
“She jogged on the street, up the hill and there was just nothing of it until I heard someone was missing and then it really hit me that I haven’t seen that jogger since then….She was wearing like a neon pink sports bra with black khaki yoga pants and an armband with her music device, or phone … hair in a ponytail, just jogging like normal, any other day.”
Riley said he contacted the Powoshiek County Sheriff’s Office on their Facebook page shortly after he learned about Mollie’s disappearances. Authorities later searched his house for around 10 to 15 minutes. Riley described the investigators as polite.
“It was pretty terrifying at the beginning because I didn’t know what was going on. I panicked and I put my girls in the bathroom, but they were really polite … just did the walk through and were out in like 10 to 15 minutes.”
Investigators continue to search for Mollie, a University of Iowa student who was set to move into her own apartment before she vanished. A reward fund her returned has topped over $300,000.
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.
- Wayne Cheney is questioned by the FBI.
- Authorities search Cheney’s home and cellphone.
- 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.
- As authorities searched an area close to the Lincoln Wildfire Reserve in Brooklyn, Iowa, someone mowing their lawn nearby discovered a red a shirt.
- The shirt was turned over to the FBI for evidence processing.
- FBI reportedly asked Cheney to take a lie detector test. He refused.
- An FBI agent goes to Cheney’s house for a second round of questioning.
- Authorities revealed there have been “hundreds” of leads and tips into Mollie’s disappearance.
- An Iowa woman’s body was found in Lee County, but despite speculation, police confirmed it was not Mollie, but instead a young woman named Sadie Alvarado, who allegedly jumped out of a moving car while arguing with her boyfriend.
- Rob Tibbetts explained why his daughter, according to his own speculations, may still be alive.
Mollie has long brown hair and brown eyes, 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 is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-452-1111.
[Feature Photo: Mollie Tibbetts/Handout]