Man in the U.S. illegally charged with murder in the death of Mollie Tibbetts

IOWA CITY, Iowa — IOWA CITY, Iowa - A 24-year-old man in the U.S. illegally has been charged with murder in the death of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts. Police said the man is being held in a federal immigration center.

Investigators believe they have found the body of Tibbetts, a University of Iowa student who was reported missing more than a month ago.

The 20-year-old woman was last seen July 18, jogging in her hometown of Brooklyn in central Iowa.

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Greg Willey, the vice president of Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa, says a body found Tuesday is believed to be Tibbetts.

Willey says he has no other details about the discovery, but called it a "tough" ending to the search for the University of Iowa student.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation planned an afternoon news conference to update the public on the case.

Willey's group has been administering a reward fund that raised nearly $400,000 for any tip that led to Tibbetts' safe return.

He said the fund will now likely be used for any information that helps police catch any person responsible for her death.

"Once they catch their breath, this will turn into a weapon going the other direction to catch the person who did it," he said.


Tibbetts vanished on July 18 from her hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa, a town of about 1,400 in central Iowa.

Investigators said she was last seen on a routine jog through the streets of the city.

It's unclear whether she returned to the home where she was dog-sitting for her boyfriend and her boyfriend's brother, who have said they were both out of town.

At one point, there was a possible sighting in Missouri.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.