Mollie Tibbetts case: Investigators 'confident' with timeline for day college student vanished

Investigators are confident they have established a timeline for the day Mollie Tibbetts disappeared from central Iowa nearly two weeks ago, officials told reporters Tuesday.

But authorities provided little new information as they appealed to the public in their continued search for the 20-year-old college student.

“We understand people want to know details about the investigation,” said Kevin Winker, director of investigative operations with the Iowa Department of Public Safety.

Tibbetts was apparently last seen running in Brooklyn, about 60 miles east of Des Moines, on July 18. She was dog-sitting for her longtime boyfriend at the time. He has since told reporters he received a photo from her on Snapchat that day, but it was not immediately clear when Tibbetts sent the picture.

Winker refused to clarify whether authorities believed Tibbetts went missing during her run, or sometime after, as family members have said.

“We are doing everything that we can to keep [Tibbetts’ family] apprised of our investigative efforts as you might expect, but they are not hearing a lot of the details,” he said.

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Missing Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts found dead
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Missing Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts found dead
A ribbon for missing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts hangs on a light post, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, in Brooklyn, Iowa. Tibbetts was reported missing from her hometown in the eastern Iowa city of Brooklyn in July 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
This undated photo provided by the Iowa Department of Public Safety shows Cristhian Bahena Rivera. Authorities said on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, that they have charged a man living in the U.S. illegally with murder in the death of Iowa college student, Mollie Tibbetts, who disappeared a month ago while jogging in a rural area. Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Rick Rahn said that Rivera, 24, was charged with murder in the death of Tibbetts. (Iowa Department of Public Safety via AP)
A county truck blocks a gravel road, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, near Brooklyn, Iowa. Police say a body believed to be that of 20-year-old college student Mollie Tibbetts has been discovered in a rural area near where she went missing last month. University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts was reported missing from her hometown in the eastern Iowa city of Brooklyn in July 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
People in the courtroom reacts after Cristhian Bahena Rivera's initial court appearance, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, at the Poweshiek County Courthouse in Montezuma, Iowa. Rivera is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Mollie Tibbetts, who disappeared July 18 from Brooklyn, Iowa. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette via AP, Pool)
(Photo via Facebook)
Cristhian Bahena Rivera speaks with his attorney during his initial court appearance, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, at the Poweshiek County Courthouse in Montezuma, Iowa. Rivera is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Mollie Tibbetts, who disappeared July 18 from Brooklyn, Iowa. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette via AP, Pool)
(Photo via Instagram)
A poster for missing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts hangs in the window of a local business, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, in Brooklyn, Iowa. Tibbetts was reported missing from her hometown in the eastern Iowa city of Brooklyn in July 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
My first experience as a best man went well🎉
Cristhian Bahena Rivera is escorted into the Poweshiek County Courthouse for his initial court appearance, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, in Montezuma, Iowa. Rivera is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Mollie Tibbetts, who disappeared July 18 from Brooklyn, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
You guys really thought I was gonna let a birthday pass without a selfie?😎 (posting a day after but I took it on my birthday so whatever)
Just a Hawkeye with her hot guy 💛🖤
A poster for missing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts hangs on the front door of a local business, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, in Brooklyn, Iowa. Police say a body believed to be that of 20-year-old college student Mollie Tibbetts has been discovered in a rural area near where she went missing last month.Tibbetts was reported missing from her hometown in the eastern Iowa city of Brooklyn in July 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Happiest of birthdays to the person who made track bearable. Of all of the laps we ran together, the last one was the hardest (even if we made it the slowest) because we were ending quite an era😉 You are such a happy, hardworking, and genuine person, and I'm so lucky I get to call you my friend. Happy birthday my dude 😘😊
A ribbon for missing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts hangs on a light post, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, in Brooklyn, Iowa. Police say a body believed to be that of 20-year-old college student Mollie Tibbetts has been discovered in a rural area near where she went missing last month. Tibbetts was reported missing from her hometown in the eastern Iowa city of Brooklyn in July 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Cristhian Bahena Rivera is escorted into the Poweshiek County Courthouse for his initial court appearance, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, in Montezuma, Iowa. Rivera is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Mollie Tibbetts, who disappeared July 18 from Brooklyn, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Currently wishing I was exploring water falls with best friend instead of sitting in an airport
A poster for missing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts hangs in the window of a local business, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, in Brooklyn, Iowa. Tibbetts was reported missing from her hometown in the eastern Iowa city of Brooklyn in July 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
I can't think of a caption but New York is cool
A poster for missing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts hangs in the window of a local business, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, in Brooklyn, Iowa. Tibbetts was reported missing from her hometown in the eastern Iowa city of Brooklyn in July 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Cristhian Bahena Rivera is lead into the courtroom for his initial court appearance, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, at the Poweshiek County Courthouse in Montezuma, Iowa. Rivera is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Mollie Tibbetts, who disappeared July 18 from Brooklyn, Iowa. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette via AP, Pool)
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Winker said the timeline surrounding Tibbetts’ disappearance was as important to investigators as getting to know the psychology student, whose family said it was unlike her to go extended periods of time without contacting her loved ones.

“All I’m saying is we don’t know where Mollie’s at right now, and I’m not going to draw any conclusions with the circumstances of her disappearance, other than it’s not consistent with … [her] past," Winker said.

Investigators have followed up on more than 200 leads since Tibbetts vanished. 

“We are pursuing every lead that is made available to us,” Winker said, noting tips are continuing to flow in and be worked on.

Everybody wants to find Mollie,” he said. “At this point, we’re doing everything we can to make that happen."

Winker could not say for certain whether the community was at risk, noting, “We can’t tell you why Mollie’s missing, so that’s a difficult question to answer.”

“I encourage everybody to take some standard precautions … [but] would do that anyway,” he continued.

Officials urged anyone with information to contact law enforcement at 800-452-1111, 515-223-1400 or tips@poweshiekcosheriff.com.

Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa has offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case or Tibbetts' discovery. The TIP Rural Electric Cooperative in Brooklyn has agreed to match that reward, for a total of $2,000.

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