There is no justice in the heartbreaking story of Mollie Tibbetts. A precious life has been lost, dreams are shattered, and a family is in ruins.
Mollie’s parents – and people across the country – learned for the first time yesterday that she was found dead. Furthermore, local law enforcement revealed the suspect in custody is an illegal immigrant – a person with no legal status in the country.
The already tragic story took an unforeseeable turn.
Their daughter’s life was allegedly taken by a 24-year-old immigrant who should not have been living in the country.
The suspect, Mexican national Cristhian Bahena Rivera, is being held on an immigration detainer and has been charged with the first-degree murder.
As the Daily Wire reports, per Iowa law, the suspect would receive a mandatory life sentence in prison if he is convicted.
From Associated Press:
A man from Mexico living in the U.S. illegally has confessed to kidnapping college student Mollie Tibbetts while she was running in her small Iowa hometown, killing her and dumping her body in a cornfield, authorities said Tuesday.
Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the death of the 20-year-old Tibbetts, whose July 18 disappearance set off a massive search involving state and federal authorities.
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Rivera led investigators early Tuesday to a body believed to be Tibbetts in a cornfield about 12 miles (19 kilometers) southeast of Brooklyn, Iowa, where Tibbetts was last seen running, Division of Criminal Investigation special agent Rick Rahn said.
“I can’t speak about the motive. I can just tell you that it seemed that he followed her, seemed to be drawn to her on that particular day, for whatever reason he chose to abduct her,” Rahn told reporters at a news conference outside the sheriff’s office in Montezuma, where Rivera was being held on $1 million cash-only bond.
Officials say murdered Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts was allegedly killed by a 24-year-old man, who is an illegal immigrant and had lived in the area for years.@adrianasdiaz has more. https://t.co/W39wCNuPot pic.twitter.com/fydUVPLIN4
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 21, 2018
President Trump, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, and other lawmakers have commented that Mollie’s tragic death could have been prevented but occurred amid a “broken immigration system.”
“You heard about today with the illegal alien coming in, very sadly, from Mexico and you saw what happened to that incredible, beautiful young woman,” Trump said in Charleston, as the Associated Press reports.
And, “Should’ve never happened. Illegally in our country. We’ve had a huge impact, but the laws are so bad. The immigration laws are such a disgrace, we’re getting them changed, but we have to get more Republicans. We have to get ’em.”
Reynolds similarly said: “We are angry that a broken immigration system allowed a predator like this to live in our community, and we will do all we can to bring justice to Mollie’s killer.”
Here’s more on the unthinkable crime:
Investigators said they zeroed in on Rivera after obtaining footage from surveillance cameras in Brooklyn. The footage showed a Chevy Malibu connected to Rivera that was driving back and forth as Tibbetts was running in the area, Rahn said.
An affidavit attached to the criminal complaint against Rivera alleged that he admitted to investigators he got out of his car and started running alongside Tibbetts.
Tibbetts grabbed her phone and said she was going to call the police. The affidavit says Rivera panicked and then said he blacked out. Rivera next remembers seeing her earphones on his lap, and taking her bloody body out of the trunk of his car, it said.
“The defendant further described during the interview that he dragged Tibbetts on foot from his vehicle to a secluded location in a cornfield,” the affidavit said.
Still within memory is the similarly devastating story of Kate Steinle, who was killed more than two years ago by an illegal immigrant. The two women were victims of a broken immigration system and their stories should be constant reminders for members of Congress to fix it.