Mollie Tibbetts’ Family Issues Statement; Suspect Appears in Court
Yesterday, authorities announced they had found what they believe is the body of Brooklyn, Iowa native Mollie Tibbetts, who was last seen July 18. They also revealed they had a suspect in custody. Today, Mollie's family released a statement and Cristhian Rivera, the man charged with first-degree murder in her death, made his initial court appearance.
The Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation released this statement, on the family's behalf:
Our hearts are broken.
On behalf of Mollie’s entire family, we thank all of those from around the world who have sent their thoughts and prayers for our girl. We know that many of you will join us as we continue to carry Mollie in our hearts forever.
At this time, our family asks that we be allowed the time to process our devastating loss and share our grief in private.
Again, thank you for the outpouring of love and support that has been shared in Mollie’s name. We remain forever grateful.
At today's initial court appearance, Rivera was informed that if convicted of first-degree murder, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. Rivera's bond was changed from $1 million in cash to $5 million in cash. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for court Friday, August 31 at 2 p.m. You can see video from the courtroom in Poweshiek County below. The actual video begins at the 22-minute mark: