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It’s been two years since Mollie Tibbetts’ body was found in a cornfield

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Mollie Tibbets, pic
Mollie Tibbets disappeared in 2018 while running near her home.
Mollie Tibbets, MGN Pic
Tibbetts' disappearance garnered national attention as many prayed for her safe arrival.
Cristina Rivera Hearing
Christian Rivera, the man charged with first degree murder in the case, has a court date of January 25, 2021

IOWA (KTIV) -- It's been two years since the body of 20-year-old University of Iowa student, Mollie Tibbetts was found in a cornfield in a rural area outside of Brooklyn Iowa.

The University of Iowa student was last seen jogging on July 18, 2018. She had been staying at a nearby home dog sitting for a friend of her boyfriend when she disappeared. Her boyfriend reported he was last in touch with her via Snapchat that night.

For over a month, communities across the nation put her face on posters and t-shirts in an effort to find her. Local and federal Investigators followed hundreds of tips from across the state and nation to find Mollie.

A reward for her safe return grew to over $400,000.

Eventually, the investigation led to 24-year-old Cristian Bahena Rivera, a Mexican national in the country illegally.

Surveillance video showed Rivera was following Tibbetts the night of her disappearance. Rivera told authorities he approached Tibbetts during her jog, on a rural part of 385th Street in Brooklyn.

When Tibbets threatened to call the police, Rivera says he "blacked out."

Rivera eventually led authorities to a rural stretch of 460th Avenue in Brooklyn where Mollie's body was found. Authorities say it was an area they had searched several times during their investigation.

Autopsy results showed Tibbetts died from multiple injuries resulting in sharp force.

On Aug. 21, 2018, Rivera was charged with first-degree murder in her death.

The trial was set to take place in Poweshiek County. But that would change as attornies felt they wouldn't be able to get a fair and partial jury in the county.

The trial was then moved to Sioux City in March of last year, with it scheduled to begin in September of 2019. After several delays, the trial was set to begin in September of 2020.

But COVID-19 played a role in another delay and eventually moved the trial out of Woodbury County. Court documents filed in July claimed with the number of cases in Woodbury County and the hurdles both sides would face with COVID-19 restrictions, that moving the trial would be beneficial.

The trial is now scheduled to begin on Jan. 25, 2021 in Scott County.

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Blake Branch

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