The father of the 20-year-old Iowa woman whose body was found in a cornfield last week wants people to remember her by "celebrating something wonderful"—not by the way she died. Mollie Tibbetts' father, Rob Tibbetts, urged the hundreds of people at his daughter's funeral on Sunday afternoon to remember her passion for life and her desire to help others. Her body was found last Tuesday after suspect Cristhian Bahena Rivera led police to the field where her body had been since July 18. To highlight his call to celebrate "wonderful" things, Rob Tibbetts recognized a couple who had just married the day before during his eulogy inside the gymnasium at Brooklyn-Guernsey-Malcom High School. Mollie Tibbetts graduated from the school in 2017, reports the AP.
"Today, we need to turn the page. We're at the end of a long ordeal," he said. "But we need to turn toward life—Mollie's life—because Mollie's nobody's victim. Mollie's my hero." Davenport Bishop Thomas Zinkula led the funeral Mass. More than 1,000 people filled the gymnasium for Mollie Tibbetts' funeral in the central Iowa city of 1,500 where she grew up. Tibbetts had been staying in Brooklyn during a summer break from her studies at the University of Iowa. Rivera is being held in lieu of a $5 million cash-only bond, and he is suspected of being in the United States illegally. He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted. (A woman told the New York Times Rivera sent her messages online for months.)