Tibbetts’ hometown of Brooklyn hopes to move on as Bahena Rivera’s trial begins

Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 7:43 PM CDT
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BROOKLYN, Iowa (KCRG) - Ribbons and signs remembering Mollie Tibbetts are spread out across Brooklyn, Iowa, as Cristhian Bahena Rivera’s murder trial began on Wednesday.

Bahena Rivera is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Mollie Tibbetts.

Police said Tibbetts, 20, was attacked while out for a run in her hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa in July 2018. Investigators found her body in a rural Poweshiek County field five weeks later.

Patti Jacobson, who said she was searching for Tibbetts during the month she was missing, said she couldn’t watch the start of the trail because she was working.

She said the trial is being recorded on her DVR and hopes justice is served.

“I’m wanting justice for Molly and I want to see how the trail goes,” Jacobson said.

Many are still watching the whole trial as it happens. Those people include Cheyanne Packer, who is a 911 operator.

She said the defense’s cross-examination of Mollie’s longtime boyfriend, Dalton Jack, was particularly harsh. However, Packer thought Jack did a good job on the stand.

“It’s something that he’s trying to put behind him,” she said. “I would also want it put behind me as well.”

Other people thought Jack looked poor to a jury after contradicting himself on the stand.

Jack is also from Brooklyn. He and Tibbetts dated since high school.

Rusty Clayton, who lives in Brooklyn, said he hopes the trial will allow the town to move forward.

“it is time to move on,” he said. “We won’t forget her, but it’s time to move on.”

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