Cristhian Rivera, the 24-year-old who was charged in the murder of Iowa college student, Mollie Tibbetts, reportedly had a child with one of Mollie’s high school classmates, in 2015.
The Daily Mail also states that Rivera is a Mexican national, and authorities have confirmed that he is an illegal immigrant who has been in the U.S. for between four and seven years.
Friends of Rivera’s told Daily Mail that he crossed into the U.S. about six years ago with a cousin.
Rivera’s attorney, Allan Richards, insisted that his client was in the U.S. lawfully. However, he has not yet produced any paperwork to verify that assertion.
Monarrez, who had a child with Rivera in 2015, was in court on Tuesday, holding the pair’s 3-year-old daughter.
Monarrez was described to the Daily Mail by another Brooklyn Iowa native as being “a really nice person.”
“Iris was very quiet, she kept to her friends. From what I can see she was a really nice person, shy but kind. She didn’t stick out. I’m sure she’s as shocked as we are.”
Because the high school where Monarrez and Tibbetts attended had only about 250 students during their time there, and the fact that they were Facebook friends, it’s assumed likely that the pair had at least a passing acquaintance.
Monarrez, however, declined to speak to reporters about the case following court proceedings on Tuesday.
One of her friends, however, did speak out.
“I don’t know if Iris and Mollie were close friends at school but she obviously heard about her going missing,” Monarrez’s friend said. “She’s just really sad about what happened to Mollie. Everyone is.”
While Monarrez is reported to have dated Rivera between 2013 and 2015, her friends have stated that she broke up with Rivera about two years ago.
For the past four years, Rivera has been employed by Yarrabee Farms, near Brooklyn, Iowa. Rivera reportedly obtained the job using a fake name and social security number.
Fox News reports that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services confirmed that Rivera had not applied for legal citizenship in the United States.
“A search of records by USCIS revealed Rivera did not make any DACA requests nor were any grants given,” USCIS told Fox News. “We have found no record in our systems indicating he has any lawful immigration status.”
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