BROOKLYN, Iowa (KWWL) — A movement in Mollie Tibbetts name wants to spread awareness on missing person cases that don’t get enough attention and to give a voice to those that don’t have one.
Mollie Tibbetts went missing on July 18, 2018, while out on a nightly run. On August 21, her body was found 15 miles from her home of Brooklyn, Iowa.
Life is a lot quieter now in the town of Brooklyn, which was thrust into the national limelight for the community effort behind finding Mollie but her memory can still be seen in the blue ribbons wrapped around light poles downtown.
Joy VanLandschoot, owner of Brooklyn’s Live Now Photography & Design, will never forget the days her shop was full of people. VandLandschoot said she remembers the feelings carried in by the people that came in; feelings of determination and caring.
She and her team plus volunteers worked tirelessly printing shirts, buttons and missing posters for Tibbetts.
“You don’t give up and you don’t give up hope,” VanLandschoot said. “It was just a huge community effort. I know I had volunteers put in up to 17 hours in a day.”
Life may have quieted down but now VanLandschoot is finding a way to remember Mollie by helping to find others by making the same products to be shared online and in-person.
VanLandschoot runs the Facebook page Mollie’s Movement: Finding Others and a Facebook group Remembering Mollie Tibbetts. Altogether it has more than 80,000 members, a large platform for other missing people.
“We saw a need out there. We jumped into not, originally with Mollie, not ready and not knowing what we would do but we knew we had products that maybe would help. I see a lot of families that have missing that don’t get attention. This helped Mollie and we hope that this can help other people,” she said.
Mollie’s story was one Iesha Husted followed closely because it hit close to home. Her own brother was also missing. Now, it’s Mollie’s Movement that could help bring him home as one of the cases chosen.
“I think Mollie’s case actually brought attention to way more than just her case and for that I’m grateful,” Husted said.
Sebastian “Ty” Husted lives in Centerville, Iowa. On January 22nd, it will be one year since the 19-year-old went missing from South Lineville, Missouri.
Authorities believe foul play was involved in his disappearance.
“He was working in Lineville as a power washer so they moved town-to-town working,” his sister said. ” For one reason or another, he didn’t at the end of the day he never came home with the co-worker.”
Husted said Ty had sent text messages to his older brother, her twin, that day asking him to pick him up from work and allegedly saying the co-worker was acting weird.
On that day, Husted said Ty carpooled with that unnamed co-worker. Ty didn’t have a license.
Ty never returned home from work that day. According to Husted, she said authorities investigating the case said his phone pinged at the job site but never again after that.
Husted said the co-worker had different stories as to why he left Ty at work. That co-worker, Husted said, has not been named as a suspect by police, to their knowledge.
She’s hoping, with the help of Mollie’s Movement, they will be closer to finding out the truth of what happened to Ty.
“It’d be easier to sleep at night or rest just knowing what happened to him or where he’s at rather than just the unknown,” she said.
Since Ty’s disappearance, he has become a father. His son, Kendrick, was born in May. Husted said her brother was excited to become a father.
A Facebook page for Ty can be found at Find Sebastian Husted.
Mollie’s Movement: Finding Others will focus on a few cases, for now.
The second case brought on is of 25-year-old Typhenie Johnson, of Texas. VanLandschoot said Johnson also has a connection to Iowa.
Johnson’s ex-boyfriend was arrested for kidnapping but her body has never been found. A Facebook page for Typhenie can be found at Kidnapped & Missing; Typhenie Johnson.
VanLandschoot said the movement is currently working on finalizing a third missing person case. She hopes through this that they can give the missing a voice.
Currently, VanLandschoot has missing posters and cards designed and finished for Ty. They can be downloaded for free on the Mollie’s Movement Facebook page or purchased by the bundle on the Mollie’s Movement website.
VanLandschoot’s business is not a non-profit but proceeds from the site go back to the Mollie Movement and other missing person’s case.
VanLandschoot also has a goal making semi-trucks the “new milk carton” by putting missing people stickers on the back of the trucks. Truck drivers can sign up for free stickers to put on the trucks here.
She also recommends people put missing posters in plain sight and that corporate businesses consider altering policies so that people can put up the posters in view and without difficulty.
Anyone with information about Ty should contact law enforcement at 641-437-7100.
Other people interested in working with Mollie’s Movement should submit their missing request here.