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Reward Surges in Mollie Tibbetts Case

Offer now stands at $260K
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 5, 2018 1:30 PM CDT
A photo from the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation shows Mollie Tibbetts, a University of Iowa student who was reported missing from her hometown in the eastern Iowa city of Brooklyn last month.   (Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation via AP, File)

(Newser) – The reward for the safe return of a missing University of Iowa student has ballooned to $260,000, per the AP. Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa said Sunday that relatives of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts believe she's alive but has potentially been kidnapped. The reward jumped nearly $100,000 since Thursday, when it was first increased to $172,000. Rob Tibbetts, Mollie's father, told Fox News at the time he hopes the increased reward will provide "financial incentive" for someone with information to step forward. He says he believes she is alive: "I'm thinking someone made a horrible mistake and they don't know what to do."

Tibbetts went missing on July 18 from her small hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa. Investigators are being tight-lipped about the case, saying holding back basic details may help solve it. That includes saying whether they believe Tibbetts returned home from a jog the evening she went missing. Willey says Crime Stoppers will protect the anonymity of tipsters who call in or submit tips online. He says the organization has shared more than 200 anonymous tips with law enforcement since Monday. In their search for the missing student, authorities have questioned a pig farmer with a history of stalking, as well a man accused of assaulting another jogger, and a man seen taking pictures of joggers. So far, these efforts have not yielded any leads. (Read more Mollie Tibbetts stories.)

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