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A Week After She Disappeared After a Late Jog, Little to Go On

FBI has now joined the case of missing Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 25, 2018 8:07 AM CDT
Mollie Tibbetts, a University of Iowa student who was reported missing from her hometown in the eastern Iowa city of Brooklyn on Thursday, July 19, 2018. A neighbor reported seeing her going for a jog...   (Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation via AP)

(Newser) – State and federal agents are investigating the disappearance of a 20-year-old University of Iowa student who has been missing for nearly a week from her Iowa hometown. Volunteer searches for Mollie Tibbetts of Brooklyn were called off this week as the FBI and state investigators took over, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation rep Mitch Mortvedt says. "We're still asking for the public's help," Mortvedt said, per the AP. "The more eyes and ears we have, the better." Mortvedt said officials have little to go on, but they're "leaning more and more toward something happening to her against her will." Tibbetts was dogsitting at her boyfriend's home when she disappeared; he was working a construction job about 100 miles northeast. A neighbor reported seeing her go for a jog Wednesday evening.

The boyfriend, Dalton Jack, said he received a Snapchat photo from Tibbetts late Wednesday after she would have returned from her jog. He tells the Des Moines Register he can't recall the caption but "it looks like she is inside a house." Tibbetts was reported missing Thursday when she didn't show for work. The FBI is also using an array of computer forensics—such as studying online history and cellphone app usage—in an effort to pinpoint where she might be. Dozens of volunteers in the town of about 1,500 had been searching fields around her house and the house where she was staying. Tibbetts' aunt says the family is frustrated by the lack of progress. "We're racking our brains, thinking what can we think of to tell the investigators," Kim Calderwood said. "It's the worst thing, to want to fix something you can't fix."

(Read more Mollie Tibbetts stories.)

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