Court filings show man accused of murdering Mollie Tibbetts says he "blocked" memory

Published: Aug. 21, 2018 at 9:43 PM CDT
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Court filings for 24-year-old Cristhian Rivera detail the events from the night Mollie Tibbetts disappeared up through the discovery of her body and his arrest.

Investigators say Cristhian Rivera is not in the country legally, and they believe he came to the US from Mexico. They said he was living in rural Poweshiek County at the time of his arrest and has been in the area for four to seven years. They used translators to interview him.

Rivera's warrant shows his bond has been set at $1-million cash.

According to Rivera's criminal affidavit, authorities were able to locate surveillance footage of him driving back and forth in the area where Mollie Tibbetts was running on the east side of Brooklyn. Authorities say Rivera has admitted "making contact" with a woman running in that same location, that he parked his Chevy Malibu and ran after her. It's then Rivera claims Mollie grabbed her phone and said, "I'm gonna call the police." Rivera says he panicked and that he "blocked his memory," which he admitted happens when he gets very upset.

The next thing Rivera remembers is being back in his car and driving to a cornfield. He then recalled he had put a woman in his trunk. He then got Mollie out of the trunk and noted that she had blood on the side of her head. He put Mollie over his shoulder and walked about 20 yards into a cornfield, placed her face up, then covered her body with corn leaves.

Rivera used his phone to retrace the route he traveled from Brooklyn.