Law enforcement officials revealed on Tuesday that they arrested an illegal alien man and charged him with the first-degree murder of Mollie Tibbetts.
The Associated Press was the first to report that Iowa officials confirmed that the suspect, 24-year-old Mexican national Cristhian Bahena Rivera, is being held on a federal immigration detainer since he is in the United States illegally.
DCI Special Agent in Charge Rick Rahn said that the suspect is believed to have lived in the area for four to seven years.
“I can’t speak about the motive,” Rahn said. “I can just tell you that it seemed that he followed her, seemed to be drawn to her on that particular day, for whatever reason he chose to abduct her.”
Rahn said that the suspect followed Tibbetts in his car while she was jogging in the area on July 18 and that he got out of his car and approached Tibbetts while she was jogging.
Tibbetts then reportedly became frightened and said she was going to call the police when the suspect grabbed her phone and then allegedly murdered her.
The affidavit states that “the defendant further described during the interview that he dragged Tibbetts on foot from his vehicle to a secluded location in a cornfield.”
The AP notes that a first-degree murder charge carries a mandatory life sentence in the state of Iowa.