Family of missing U. of Iowa student say belongings left behind

Published: Jul. 22, 2018 at 11:03 AM CDT
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Last Wednesday night Mollie Tibbetts went out jogging and has not been seen or heard from since.

Investigators, family, and friends have not been able to locate her after searching the area of Poweshiek County where she was last known to be.

“Everything is right where she left it,” said cousin Emily Heaston. “Wallet, laptop, everything else was all right where she last placed it.”

Heaston is helping lead a search campaign which includes social media posts and missing posters.

“She is like a sister to me,” Heaston told KWQC, adding that Tibbetts, who turned 20 in May, was looking forward to beginning her sophomore year at the University of Iowa.

“Mollie had just been asking me this week for furniture for her apartment at school for the upcoming academic year. She had a trip planned to the Dominican Republic for next week.”

Heaston says Tibbetts was also responsible for caring for her boyfriend’s brother’s two dogs at the time she disappeared on the evening of July 18.

“I’m trying not to imagine the worst, but I’m so scared that someone took her.”

The Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office said Friday the investigation into the disappearance is “ongoing and active.”

Investigators have not said whether foul play is suspected or released a theory of what may have happened.

The University of Iowa posted Friday on its Facebook page, "Our thoughts are with Mollie Tibbetts’ family and friends. The University of Iowa is monitoring the situation and will offer support as needed."

Heaston posted Saturday on Facebook, "Investigators are hoping to expedite the imaging of Mollie’s laptop today, and get warrants out to Google and her social media accounts. The University of Iowa is extremely cooperative in those efforts as well."

Tibbetts was last seen wearing gym shorts, running shoes and a black sports bra while jogging in Brooklyn, about 50 miles west of Iowa City.

Anyone with information is asked to call (641) 623-5679.