Brooklyn marks five-year anniversary of Mollie Tibbetts’ disappearance with mile walk
BROOKLYN, Iowa (KCRG) - Kathy Hash summarized how it still feels five years after Mollie Tibbetts’ disappearance and murder: “Oh, it hurts. It hurts.”
Five years ago, Mollie Tibbetts disappeared from her hometown of Brooklyn. A month later, her body was found in a cornfield in Poweshiek County. Tuesday, the community held a one-mile walk to honor and remember her.
“I just didn’t think it would ever happen in our town. Because we’ve never— we’ve never had anything happen like that,” said Hash, who lives in Brooklyn.
Morgan Collum, Tibbetts’ cousin, said what happened changed the community in fundamental ways.
“The way that people parent is different. And the way that people enjoy the outdoors is different,” said Collum.
People who live in Brooklyn say those changes all have their roots in the trauma and pain left behind after Tibbetts’ death.
“To have the FBI come to your door and want to interview you...I tried to give them all the things that I knew, but I just never dreamed that it would ever happen here,” said Hash.
The goal of the walk Tuesday was to deal with that pain the only way it can be dealt with: one step at a time.
“She was always so happy, so it’s hard to be sad. Just got to put a smile on and keep going,” said Elliot VeVerka, Mollie’s cross country coach.
That was the theme of Tuesday’s walk: keep going, and keep going together.
“Just to know that so many people can come together after five years and it’s still going...it’s unbelievable,” said Hash.
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