Hundreds attend vigil honouring slain Iowa student, United States News & Top Stories

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Authorities announced Thursday that preliminary autopsy results from the state medical examiner's office show 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts was the victim of a homicide who died from "multiple sharp force injuries".

In an email Friday, Schlinger said that she was "shocked and deeply saddened" by Tibbetts' death and had never met Rivera. But we know that he's an illegal immigrant who is from Mexico and has lived in Iowa for 4-7 years.

"Let's let the process go", he said.

But a cousin of Tibbetts said her murder was being used for "political propaganda", calling it "despicable" and "disrespectful". "But he's innocent, so he didn't run and hide".

"We learned that our employee was not who he said he is."

"So you just keep running like it didn't happen, and then you're mad at yourself because you wish you did something else", she said.

We don't yet know for sure if Rivera is guilty, but the tragedy of the scenario painted by the charges is explosive. "I didn't sense anything was wrong".

Authorities said Rivera admitted to following Tibbetts, approaching her, and then blacking out and later discovering her body in the trunk of his vehicle.

Earlier this week, investigators said they were uncertain how Tibbetts was killed or whether she was sexually assaulted. Grassley says changes under consideration could include infrastructure, staffing, and adjustment to laws and enforcement procedures.

After the interview, police say, Rivera guided them to her location "from memory".

A poster for missing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts hangs in the window of a local business on August 21, 2018, in Brooklyn, Iowa.

Rivera and Tibbetts have no known connections, other than that Rivera allegedly told investigators that he saw her running previously. "I won't even tell you how old this child was".

CNN contributor Symone D. Sanders argued this week that the main safety issue in the Tibbetts case was not Rivera's status as an undocumented farm worker from Mexico but his "toxic masculinity" and the suspect's unwillingness to take no for an answer.

Authorities confirmed during Tuesday's press conference that Rivera is an undocumented immigrant and is being held on a federal immigration detainer, meaning that he's accused of entering the United States illegally.

At both the Republican National Convention in 2016 and the State of the Union in 2018, Trump had the family members of those murdered by illegal immigrants (to whom he refers as "Angel Families") share their stories.

"We are living in two alternative political universes", Gingrich said, before suggesting that if Trump's personal scandals are fair political fodder, so is Tibbetts' death.

President Donald Trump referred to Rivera's being in the country illegally during a campaign speech for a Republican US Senate candidate in West Virginia. Richards provided no evidence to back up his assertion and could not be reached for further comment.

"They are taking a blind eye to what's going on", said defense lawyer Allan Richards. "I don't think either side should politicize this".

This week, Rivera was charged with first-degree murder.

First, the Iowa coroner has definitely identified her body and settled on a cause of death. In a story that probably sounds familiar to any woman who has run alone, the 24-year-old farm worker reportedly confessed to following Tibbetts, saying he was inexplicably "drawn" to her and that after he exited his vehicle to run alongside her, Tibbetts threatened to call the police - which made him angry.

Still, Rivera's uncle said that if he did it, he should be punished.

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