Mollie Tibbetts murder suspect requests money for private investigation

Cristhian Bahena Rivera, the man charged with Mollie Tibbetts’ murder, has asked the court for state funding to hire a private investigator to review his case.

The court approved a request from Rivera’s attorneys to use taxpayer money to hire Gratias Investigations, a private investigation firm out of Des Moines. 

Two weeks ago, Chad and Jennifer Frese of Marshalltown took over the defense for Rivera. On Wednesday, the attorneys filed a request for a private investigator, asking for five thousand dollars from the court to start the investigation but pointed out that its likely a request for more money will be made. 

KWWL obtained these court documents in which Rivera claims that he is too poor to pay for this investigation on his own. In an affidavit showing Rivera’s application for the court assistance, he states that he has no job, which we know is true following a news conference held last month at Yarrabee Farms where he once worked as a farmhand. 

However, where the form asks how much money Rivera made in the last 12 months, it’s blank. 

Rivera also indicates he’s not supporting any other family members and has no assets worth more than $100, including cash on hand, bonds, or collateral. It does state that he has a monthly car payment of nearly three hundred dollars. 

One of Rivera’s lawyers, Jennifer Frese, told KWWL that hiring a private investigator is necessary for the preparation of his defense.

When KWWL called Gratias Investigations for a statement, they replied no comment. 



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