Brooklyn, Iowa – Relatives of missing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts held a news conference in their hometown of Brooklyn earlier this week to give details on a reward. Mollie’s mother, Laura Caulderwood, explained what they are doing.
“We have set up a ‘Bring Mollie Tibbetts Home Safe Reward Fund’ at First State Bank here in Brooklyn Iowa,” Caulderwood says. “We believe that Mollie is still alive, and if someone has abducted her, we plead with you to please release her.”
Mollie Tibbetts disappeared on July 18th. Caulderwood says they’ve already raised $172 thousand dollars to offer as a reward for information that leads to them finding Mollie.
“You can contact Crimestoppers of Central Iowa at 800-452-1111. Or email your tip online at www.crimstoppersofcentralIowa.com,” Caulderwood says. She says Crimestoppers allows you to come forward with information and remain anonymous.
“We are very thankful for all the efforts of law enforcement and our friends in searching for Mollie,” Caulderwood says. “It is our greatest hope that if someone has her that they would just release here, and claim that money that we have raised for her freedom.” You can also make a donation to the reward fund through the Crimestoppers website. Tibbetts father Rob says they are focused on bringing Mollie home.
“The family is holding up just fine. We are setting our personal feelings aside — this is a fight for our daughter — and we have all the tools that we can use,” Tibbetts says. Tibbetts would not comment on any other aspects of the investigation and focused solely on the reward information. He says they are letting the investigators do their job.
“We are told very little by the authorities for very good reason. They are incredible partners. They’ve put together an incredible investigation. It’s large, it’s sophisticated, it’s aggressive, and they have been nothing but sensitive to our family. And to suggest otherwise is wrong,” Tibbetts says. Tibbetts hopes the reward will spur someone who has information to come forward.
“People are reluctant to come forward with information because they think it is irrelevant it’s trivial,” Tibbetts says. “Nothing is irrelevant, nothing is trivial, and the authorities have told us as much. They have the resources to sort our what’s right and what’s wrong. So if you have something that is either trivial or could implicate someone you know or love, come forward with the information. The authorities can sort that out and they can do it quickly.”
Investigators looking for Mollie Tibbetts gave an update Friday — but had little new information to release. The Department of Public Safety’s director of investigative operations, Kevin Winker, talked to the media.
“Unfortunately we have not yet found Mollie, but it has not been due to a lack of effort or a lack of resources,” Winker says. Tibetts has been missing since last being seen in her hometown of Brooklyn July 18th, and this is the second formal update from investigators. Investigators have released very few details on what they have or have not found — and Winker says that will not change.
Although we appreciate everyone showing up today for this press conference, our position has not changed on the release of case facts, results and conclusions. I understand that this if frustrating for many in the public and the media, but feel this is necessary for our investigation,” Winker says. “Our position has also not changed, in that if we evaluate a piece of information and feel that it will lead us to Mollie, we will do so immediately.” Winker urged everyone to continue giving them tips or information which may help in the case.
“Leads are a good thing. As tips come in they generate leads and it gives us an area to look and an avenue to explore. So, I would say all leads are important and they are all being looked at,” he says. The case has gotten national and international attention and Winker says anyone who thinks they have have spotted Mollie should immediately call 9-1-1 or local police so they can quickly investigate. Winker was asked about the time that has lapsed since Tibbetts disappeared and the inablity to find her.
“It’s very frustrating, but it hasn’t slowed our efforts. We have not slowed down at all the investigative process,” according to Winker. “And so, we come to work every day with an attitude that we are going to find Mollie today. And we hope to be able to do that and report that to you soon.” Anyone with information on Mollie Tibbetts can call Crimestoppers of Central Iowa at 800-452-1111. Or email your tip online at www.crimestopersofcentraliowa.com. You can use Crimestoppers and remain anonymous. The reward offered for information is more than 172-thousand dollars.