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
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Missing Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts
My first experience as a best man went well🎉
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)
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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 😘😊
Currently wishing I was exploring water falls with best friend instead of sitting in an airport
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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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