Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a statement on Tuesday, after a news conference informed the world that investigators believe a body found is that of missing 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts. The identity of that body has not has not been confirmed, but it is believed to be Tibbetts, who vanished during a jog near her hometown of Brooklyn on July 18. Cristhian Bahena Rivera is in custody and facing a murder charge in the case, according to investigators.
Read Gov. Reynolds’ statement on Tuesday’s developments in full below:
“Today, our state woke up to heart-wrenching news. As a mother, I can’t imagine the sorrow felt by the Tibbetts family. We are all suffering over the death of Mollie, knowing that it could have been our own daughter, sister or friend.
“I spoke with Mollie’s family and passed on the heartfelt condolences of a grieving state. I shared with them my hope that they can find comfort knowing that God does not leave us to suffer alone. Even in our darkest moments, He will comfort and heal our broken hearts.
“I want to recognize and thank our local, state and federal law enforcement community for their coordinated and tireless efforts to find Mollie.
“Over the past month, thousands of Iowans searched and prayed for Mollie’s safe return. Now, we are called to come together once again to lift up a grieving family. The search for Mollie is over, but the demand for justice has just begun.
“As Iowans, we are heartbroken, and we are angry. We are angry that a broken immigration system allowed a predator like this to live in our community, and we will do all we can bring justice to Mollie’s killer.”