A suspect in connection with Mollie Tibbetts' murder is in custody and has been identified as a 24-year-old man in the U.S. illegally, investigators announced at a news conference Tuesday.
Christian Rivera was charged with first-degree murder in Tibbetts' death, officials confirmed Tuesday afternoon.
Authorities said that Rivera, of the rural Poweshiek County area, is being held on a federal immigration detainer. He's believed to have been in the area for four to seven years.
The body of Tibbetts, a 20-year-old University of Iowa student, was found Tuesday, her father and two sources confirmed to Fox News. She was last seen around 7:30 p.m. on July 18 when she was running around a neighborhood in Brooklyn.
Tibbetts' family pleaded for her safe return and had remained hopeful she would be found alive. Rob Tibbetts was returning home to the San Francisco area after spending weeks looking for his daughter, The Des Moines Register reported Sunday.
"The bottom line is somebody knows something," Rob Tibbetts previously told Fox News, adding Brooklyn is a small city and “you can’t do anything there without someone seeing it.”
For the last month, investigators followed “hundreds” of leads — interviewing hundreds of people and canvassing a nearby hog farm, cornfields and other properties for traces of the college student. Two items Tibbetts typically took with her — a Fitbit and cellphone — remained missing.
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