The 24-year-old man being held in the death of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts was in the United States illegally and had been in the country for several years, according to new reports.
Tibbetts was last seen on July 18. Cristhian Rivera, a Mexican national, told police that he encountered her while she was jogging.
According to Fox News, he said he followed her in his car for a while, then got out and started jogging with her. He said he became upset when she threatened to call the police. Rivera, who led police to Tibbetts’s body, said he could not remember many details of the incident in which she was killed.
Rivera is charged with first-degree murder, and is being held on a $1 million cash bond.
Bottom line. Mollie Tibbetts would be alive today were it not for our awful, broken border policies. Democrats will cry over kids being separated at the border, but won't shed one tear over this case. Epidemic of illegal immigrants in this country killing our citizens
— David J Potts (@DivineTurbine) August 21, 2018
Owner Dane Lang said Rivera passed the government’s E-Verify employment verification system. In a statement, he said the company that runs the farm has done nothing wrong.
“Yarrabee Farms follows all laws related to verifying employees are legal to work in the United States, and we regularly seek outside counsel to ensure we stay up-to-date on employment law matters,” the statement read. “We keep records on all employees and have shared that information with authorities.”
The fact that an illegal immigrant was being charged in the death of a young woman whose disappearance made national headlines for weeks drew a sharp response from social media.
Remember these faces. Remember these names. Mollie Tibbetts. Kate Steinle. Ronald Da Silva. Grant Ronnebeck… 4 of the many preventable murders at the hands of illegal immigrants. pic.twitter.com/EwpWAmHSxi
— Madison Gesiotto (@madisongesiotto) August 22, 2018
Political leaders also were outraged.
“As Iowans, we are heartbroken, and we are angry. We are angry that a broken immigration system allowed a predator like this to live in our community, and we will do all we can bring justice to Mollie’s killer,” Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds stated in a Twitter post.
As Iowans, we are heartbroken, and we are angry. We are angry that a broken immigration system allowed a predator like this to live in our community, and we will do all we can bring justice to Mollie’s killer.
— Gov. Kim Reynolds (@IAGovernor) August 21, 2018
President Donald Trump cited the murder during a West Virginia rally, Fox News reported.
“You heard about today with the illegal alien coming in, very sadly, from Mexico and you saw what happened to that incredible, beautiful young woman?” Trump said. “Should have never happened. Illegally in our country.”
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee weighed in, too.
Sick at my stomach that Mollie Tibbets, the Iowa student found dead. Suspect is illegal immigrant. If found guilty, he will be reminder why sanctuary cities & open borders are as stupid as the politicians who promote them. #heartbroken
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) August 21, 2018
“As a father of four daughters, it crushes my heart to see yet another family go through this nightmare,” Cox said. “Those who want to abolish ICE need to consider the consequences of their rash proposal.
“The Mollie Tibbetts case is one more tragic example of a senseless loss that never should have happened, similar to Kate Steinle’s heartbreaking death in San Francisco,” he said.
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