The first degree murder trial begins today for the man accused of attacking a 20-year-old woman as she went for a run in the eastern Iowa community of Brooklyn in July of 2018.
Cristhian Bahena Rivera’s trial is being held in Davenport. Investigators say video shows Rivera’s vehicle following Mollie Tibbetts, a University of Iowa student, as she went for a run in her hometown. Authorities say Rivera confessed to the crime and led police to Tibbett’s body, which he had covered with stalks in a cornfield.
Rivera worked at a dairy farm near Brooklyn. The farm’s owners say Rivera used a different name on his job application. Rivera’s defense attorneys have said he was in the country legally.
The month-long search for Tibbetts drew national attention. Runners all over the country used the hashtag #milesformollie in her memory and her case sparked discussion about safety for women who jog or run on their own.
The third annual Mollie Tibbetts Memorial Run/Walk was held last September in Brooklyn and donations to the Mollie Tibbetts Fund benefit the child psychiatry unit at the University of Iowa’s Children’s Hospital.