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Woman: Tibbetts' Alleged Killer Sent Me Online Messages

Cristhian Bahena Rivera had child with woman who attended same high school as Tibbetts
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2018 7:53 AM CDT
Cristhian Bahena Rivera is lead into the courtroom for his initial court appearance, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, at the Poweshiek County Courthouse in Montezuma, Iowa. Rivera is charged with first-degree...   (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette via AP, Pool)

(Newser) – In a new profile of Cristhian Bahena Rivera, the New York Times looks at how Mollie Tibbetts' accused killer "built a life in an Iowa farm town." It treads on some familiar ground—quoting people who describe him as a quiet but reliable farmhand at a local dairy farm—but surfaces less reported details: The 24-year-old has a daughter and was accused of sending unwanted messages to women online. The Times reports he met Brooklyn high school student Iris Monarrez five years ago, and that the two subsequently had a daughter. They lived together for a year, and Monarrez's second cousin tells the paper they split two years ago. That relative describes Rivera as "really romantic"; others recount often seeing Rivera with his daughter in the park.

Monarrez has reportedly been on the receiving end of hateful Facebook messages since their former relationship came to light. The Mercury News reports she and her 3-year-old were in the courtroom on Wednesday, and that Monarrez reportedly graduated a year ahead of Tibbetts at Malcolm High School. The Times presents a second female name: Brooke Bestell. The 20-year-old tells the paper Rivera asked her out and she declined, describing her discomfort: "He would just stare. He wouldn’t really like talk." Bestell says that he proceeded to message her online "every week or so" for a number of months. The last message came at 3am on June 13. Bestell says that in the wake of his arrest, two of her friends told her they also received online messages from Rivera. Read more on the case here. (Read more Mollie Tibbetts stories.)

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