Medical examiner: Mollie Tibbetts killed by "multiple sharp force injuries"

Mollie Tibbetts, missing University of Iowa student, Photo Date: Undated / Photo: Poweshiek...
Mollie Tibbetts, missing University of Iowa student, Photo Date: Undated / Photo: Poweshiek County Sheriff's Office / (MGN)
Published: Aug. 23, 2018 at 2:39 PM CDT
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The Iowa State Medical Examiner confirms that the body found in rural Poweshiek County on Tuesday morning is that of missing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts.

An autopsy was conducted on Wednesday. The State Medical Examiner determined Mollie's death resulted from multiple sharp force injuries.

Mollie's body was found in an area of rural Poweshiek County, about five miles away from Brooklyn, where Tibbetts disappeared on July 18.

Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, had been held since Tuesday on a $5 million cash-only bond after being charged with first-degree murder in the case.

Investigators say that Rivera followed Mollie while she was jogging the night of July 18th and approached her, running along side her as she threatened to call police. At that point, Rivera tells investigators that he blacked out and when he came to, he realized Mollie was in the trunk of the vehicle he was driving. He said he drove to the rural area, about a 15 minute drive from Brooklyn, and left her in a field.

Officials used security camera video in the area to track down Rivera. He then led investigators to her body early Tuesday morning.

At a hearing Wednesday, Magistrate Judge Diane Crookham-Johnson granted a state prosecutor's request to raise the bond amount to $5 million.

Assistant attorney general Scott Brown noted that Rivera is suspected of being in the country illegally, and is charged with a "heinous crime." He says the higher bond amount would protect the community.

Rivera's lawyer, Allan Richards, said he plans to ask for a bond review hearing at a later date. He said his client is a young man who has no prior criminal history and has worked for a prominent local farmer for years.