Lawyer: Mollie Tibbetts' Murder Suspect Here Legally

Cristhian Rivera wasn't interviewed until Monday
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2018 2:55 PM CDT
Cristhian Bahena Rivera is escorted into the Poweshiek County Courthouse for his initial court appearance, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, in Montezuma, Iowa. Rivera is charged with first-degree murder in the...   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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(Newser)

Officials say they didn't know the name of the man suspected of murdering Mollie Tibbetts until just days ago. "His name hadn't surfaced. Hadn't come across the radar," Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Assistant Director Mitch Mortvedt tells the Des Moines Register. He says it wasn't until last Thursday or Friday that the Iowa DCI received video taken by a local home's surveillance system that caught a glimpse of Tibbetts jogging on July 18. Mortvedt says Cristhian Rivera's black Chevrolet Malibu appeared several times. After "hours upon hours" spent reviewing the tape, the path led to Rivera, whom they interviewed late Monday. Officials say he brought them to Tibbetts' body early Tuesday. The latest on the case:
  • On any connection between Tibbetts and Rivera: "There is nothing that we have come across as of yet that shows they had any type of relationship," says Mortvedt. "And I don't mean intimate dating, I mean friendship, acquaintance, what have you. He had mentioned I believe that he had seen her before, in what context I don't know if it was just in passing or had seen her in town somewhere, but it sounded like he at least had recognized her."

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