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Undocumented Immigrant Being Held on Murder Charges in Mollie Tibbetts’ Death

Authorities in Iowa have announced they have a suspect in custody over the apparent murder of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts.

An undocumented immigrant, Cristhian Bahena Rivera, is currently being held on an immigration detainer, according to local authorities in an ongoing press conference late Tuesday afternoon. The suspect has apparently been living in the United States for some “four to seven years,” according to the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities say they were led to the suspect by surveillance camera footage. The suspect allegedly “saw Mollie running” and then ran alongside of her before preceding to grab her cellphone and then chasing her to an intersection on 385th Street in Brooklyn, Iowa.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Safety, a body believed to be Tibbetts was recovered by law enforcement in rural Poweshiek County–the same county where Tibbetts’ hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa is located. Tibbetts had been missing since mid-July when she was last seen jogging.

When asked a question about potential motive, the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office declined to comment, saying they couldn’t speak to that as of now.

[image via WHO]

Editor’s note: this article has been amended for accuracy.

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