IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Investigators have recovered a body believed to be that of a 20-year-old Iowa college student who vanished from a small town one month ago, a spokesman for a reward fund said Tuesday.
Greg Willey of Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa said he learned of the discovery from a close family friend of Mollie Tibbetts on Tuesday morning. Willey says he has no other details about the discovery, but called it a “tough” ending to the search for the University of Iowa student.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation planned an afternoon news conference to update the public on the case. A spokesman for the agency has not returned a message seeking comment.
Tibbetts vanished on July 18 from her hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa, a town of about 1,400 in central Iowa. Investigators said she was last seen on a routine jog through the streets of the city. It’s unclear whether she returned to the home where she was dog-sitting for her boyfriend and her boyfriend’s brother, who have said they were both out of town.
Willey’s group has been administering a reward fund that raised nearly $400,000 for any tip that led to Tibbetts’ safe return. He says the fund will now likely be used for any information that helps police catch any person responsible for her death.
“Once they catch their breath, this will turn into a weapon going the other direction to catch the person who did it,” he said.