It’s been nearly two weeks since Mollie Tibbetts, a 20-year-old University of Iowa student, went on an evening run and disappeared. Since then, volunteers and investigators from federal, state and local agencies have been scouring the small Iowa town of Brooklyn in search of the young woman. Her father, Rob Tibbetts, said Tuesday that it “doesn’t matter” what the family is going through; they just want to find her.
Rob Tibbetts appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” to plead that anyone who might have information on her whereabouts — no matter how “remotely out of the ordinary” it may be — come forward. “We just need people to think — because somebody knows something and they don’t even know it’s important,” he said.
“We can get Mollie back,” he added. “We just have to have somebody call.”
According to authorities, Tibbetts left her boyfriend’s home on the evening of July 18 to go for a run. CBS affiliate KCCI reported that Tibbetts, who was dog-sitting at her boyfriend’s home, might have come back to the house after her run and may have been doing homework on her computer late that night. Rick Rahn, a special agent in charge at the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said he’s aware of the KCCI report, but he declined to comment further.
Her last known communication was a Snapchat photo she sent to her boyfriend that night, the Des Moines Register reported. Dalton Jack, who was out of town, said the photo looked as if it was taken indoors, but he couldn’t remember the caption. The following day, Tibbetts didn’t show up to work at a day-care center and didn’t reply to Jack’s “good morning” text message.
Last week, investigators said they hope data from a Fitbit that Mollie Tibbetts was wearing when she disappeared, as well as her cellphone and social media accounts, will help them find her. But authorities have remained tight-lipped about what data they have gathered.
Rahn said investigators have a “pretty tight timeline” of Tibbetts’s activities before she disappeared, but he said he can’t release any information at this time.
Several media outlets have reported that Jack and Tibbetts’s family members aren’t considered suspects. Rahn said he cannot comment on who is and isn’t a suspect.
The day after his daughter disappeared, Rob Tibbetts said, 400 people formed a “spontaneous search effort.”
“I think it’s just because this community knows Mollie, they love Mollie, and I think the rest of the country is starting to understand who she is, too,” he told “Good Morning America.”
Tibbetts was born in San Francisco and moved to Brooklyn with her mother when she was in second grade. She won state speech competitions, was involved in theater and ran cross-country. She was studying psychology, as her mother did.