Mollie Tibbets’ family releases statement: ‘Our hearts are broken’

The family of slain Iowa student Mollie Tibbets released a statement Wednesday, the same day the man accused of the University of Iowa student’s murder made his first court appearance.

According to KWWL, the family released the following statement through the Iowa Department of Public Safety:

“Our hearts are broken. On behalf of Mollie’s entire family, we thank all of those from around the world who have sent their thoughts and prayers for our girl.  We know that many of you will join us as we continue to carry Mollie in our hearts forever. At this time, our family asks that we be allowed the time to process our devastating loss and share our grief in private. Again, thank you for the outpouring of love and support that has been shared in Mollie’s name.  We remain forever grateful.”

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Tibbets, 2o, was last seen jogging near her hometown of Brooklyn on June 18. It was on Tuesday, a month after her disappearance, when her body was discovered in a rural area between Deep River and Guernsey, Iowa.

READ More: Arrest affidavit provides grim details on college student’s kidnapping, murder

Suspect Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, allegedly led authorities to the area where Tibbets’ body was located. He’s reportedly admitted to following Tibbets and said he “blacked out” after she threatened to call the police on him.

Rivera is being held on first-degree murder charges and an immigration detainer as he’s reportedly in the country illegally. According to the Des Moines Register, his lawyer said in court documents Wednesday that Rivera is working legally in Iowa.

The newspaper reported that he’s being held on a $5 million cash-only bond.

[Featured image: Mollie Tibbets/Police handout]