CBS News has learned that Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts has been found dead, just over a month after she was reported missing.
The 20-year-old was last seen July 18, jogging near her home in the central Iowa town of Brooklyn. Her disappearance set off a massive investigation and weeks of fruitless searches.
Her family reported her missing the day after she disappeared when she didn’t show up for work.
Last week, authorities said they were focusing their investigation on five areas in and near Tibbetts’ hometown. Those areas reportedly included her boyfriend’s home in Brooklyn, a car wash, a truck stop, a farm more than three miles from downtown Brooklyn, and another farm more than six miles away.
In an interview earlier this month, Mollie Tibbetts’ father said he believed his daughter may have left willingly with someone she knew.
“I think someone went to the house that Mollie knew or that Mollie trusted and that she left with them willingly,” Robert Tibbetts told CBS News correspondent Adriana Diaz. “Now they’re in over their head and they don’t know what to do.”
He says if he could talk to his daughter, he would tell her to “hang on.”
“We’re gonna come get you,” he said. “Everybody’s looking.”
More than $380,000 was raised for a reward for Mollie’s safe return. Greg Willey of Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa tells the Associated Press the fund will now likely be used for any information that helps police catch any person responsible for her death.
Police have scheduled a news conference for 6 p.m. EDT Tuesday to provide an update on the latest developments.