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Twenty-year-old University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts was dog-sitting in Brooklyn, Iowa, on Wednesday night, July 18, when she headed out for a jog.
She has not been seen since, and her family says she would never run away or fall out of touch with her family. Tibbetts worked at the Grinnell Regional Medical Center Day Camp, helping to care for the children of employees.
“There is no such thing as a silly tip or lead,” Tibbetts’ cousin Emily Heaston wrote on a Facebook group set up in support of the search effort.
“We do not want any information or offers of help to slip through the cracks,” Heaston wrote on Saturday, July 21, adding, “We cannot share Mollie’s image or story too much. Thank you to all of the volunteers and the Brooklyn community for your endless love and support.”
Tibbetts was last seen in gym shorts, a black sports bra and running shoes while jogging near Brooklyn, according to a news release from the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office, which is leading the investigation.
According to news reports and Tibbetts’ family’s posts on the Facebook search group, hundreds of volunteers have canvassed surrounding miles of farmland, fields and roads.
“Currently law enforcement is working in cooperation with multiple jurisdictions in an effort to locate Mollie,” the sheriff’s office said in its release. “Active searches are currently taking place at this time.”
Authorities are working to review Tibbetts’ digital footprint as well, including her laptop and social media activity, according to her family.
“I just want to take a moment to update everyone with today’s efforts,” family member Sandi Tibbetts Murphy posted to the Facebook group July 21. “We remain stunned by all of the sharing and outreach from all of you. We think Mollie’s information has been shared literally coast to coast and border to border. Please continue to share her information with all of your friends, family and connections.”
In a Facebook post on Friday, July 20, the University of Iowa said its “thoughts are with Mollie Tibbetts’ family and friends” and that school officials were “monitoring the situation and will offer support as needed.”
According to Tibbetts’ Facebook profile, she is studying psychology and has interned at the Grinnell Regional Medical Center. She lives in Brooklyn and is originally from Oakland, California.
Tibbetts’ brothers and her boyfriend have been cleared in the investigation.
Tibbetts is described as 5-foot-3, weighing about 120 lbs., with long brown hair and brown eyes.
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