Father of murdered Mollie Tibbetts had message about Hispanics at funeral

Poweshiek County Emergency Management Agency  Facebook

Poweshiek County Emergency Management Agency Facebook

Speaking Sunday at a ceremony for his daughter, Rob Tibbetts didn't directly address comments by President Donald Trump and others who seized upon the suspect's citizenship to argue for changes in US immigration laws.

In an obituary for Mollie, the 20-year-old's family members celebrated Tibbetts' contagious zest for life and compassion for all people.

An attempt to add a conservative candidate to the ballot for Iowa attorney general appears to have failed, dealing a blow to rightwingers seeking to make the death of student Mollie Tibbetts an election issue in November. The win came less than 48 hours before a memorial service Sunday for his 20-year-old sister.

Tibbetts left behind more than 30 living relatives and the "love of her life", Dalton Jack, who played an active role in the effort to bring Mollie home. The visitors wore jerseys with a small honor: teal wings with the initials "MT" in a heart.

Scott Tibbetts declined to comment after the game. Her body was found on August 21, the same day police arrested Cristhian Rivera, a 24-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico.

The man accused of killing the University of Iowa student was scheduled to be back in court this week but Cristhian Rivera has waived the hearing and hired new legal representation instead. They're expected to replace attorney Allan Richards, who called President Trump "sad and sorry" for labeling his client guilty before trial.

Rivera is being held in lieu of a $5 million cash-only bond, and he is suspected of being in the United States illegally.

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Jennifer Frese confirmed Monday that the two have been privately retained to represent Rivera.

But speaking Sunday afternoon to more than 1000 people at a ceremony at his daughter's former high school, Rob Tibbetts told mourners he's been embraced by the local Hispanic community.

"You want to know why there's been such an outpouring?" he said.

Rob Tibbetts urged congregants at the funeral at Brooklyn-Guernsey-Malcom High School to remember his daughter's passion for life and her desire to help others.

To highlight his call to celebrate "wonderful" things, the father recognised a couple who had just married the day before during his eulogy. On 21 August 2018 her body was located in a field, and shortly afterwards investigators linked 24-year-old Mexican national Cristhian Rivera to the murder, saying surveillance footage showed him following Tibbetts in his vehicle.

Illegal alien Cristhian Bahena-Rivera - a 24-year-old from Mexico who has been charged with first-degree murder in Tibbetts' death - lived in a trailer on property owned by Dane Lang, who partly owns and operates Yarrabee Farms, where the illegal alien worked under a false name.

Mollie's disappearance on July 18 and the subsequent efforts to find her captured headlines across the country for five weeks, until her body was found 500 yards inside of a cornfield about 10 to 12 miles south from where police think she was abducted.

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