Jennifer Smith, Daily Mail, August 22, 2018
President Trump was among the first to turn talk about the tragedy of Mollie Tibbetts’ murder to calls for tighter immigration laws on Tuesday after it was revealed the 20-year-old Iowa student was murdered by an illegal alien.
Mexican national Cristhian Rivera, 24, has been living in Iowa and working illegally for anywhere between four and seven years.
On July 18, he attacked Mollie in her hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa, while she was out jogging, killed her and then dumped her body in a cornfield.
He was arrested on Monday after recently recovered surveillance footage led police to his Chevy Malibu.
At a rally in West Virginia on Tuesday night, Trump said the ‘incredible, beautiful’ young woman’s death should never have happened.
‘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.
‘Should have never happened. Illegally in our country. We’ve had a huge impact but the laws are so bad.
‘The immigration laws are such a disgrace. We’re getting them changed but we have to get more Republicans. We have to get,’ Trump said to cheers of ‘build the wall’.
Iowa’s Governor Kim Reynolds said she and the rest of the state were ‘heartbroken’ by the discovery of Mollie’s body.
She blamed the young woman’s death on the country’s ‘broken’ immigration system, tweeting: ‘As Iowans, we are heartbroken and we are angry.
‘We are angry that a broken immigration system allowed a predator to live in our community and we will do all we can to bring justice to Mollie’s killer.
‘Over the past month, thousands of Iowans searched and prayed for Mollie’s safe return.
‘Now, we are called to come together to lift up a grieving family. The search for Mollie is over, but the demand for justice has just begun.’
Former congressman Joe Walsh said: ‘Mollie Tinnetts would be alive today if this nation enforced its immigration laws.
‘A 20-year-old American girl was murdered by a damn illegal. A person who shouldn’t have ever been in this country!
‘Mollie Tibbetts had her whole life ahead of her. But because of an illegal, she’ll never get to live it.
‘First, Kate Steinle. Now, Mollie Tibbetts. Unacceptable.’
Gov. Mike Huckabee said he was ‘sick to his stomach’.
‘Suspect is illegal immigrant. If found guilty he will be reminder why sanctuary cities and open borders are as stupid as the politicians who promote them.’
Fox pundit Laura Ingraham tweeted merely: ‘OUTRAGE!’ and conservative commentator Tomi Lahren dedicated an entire video to the subject on her Facebook page.
‘Hey liberals, you wanna talk about child separation? How about this, 20-year-old college student Mollie Tibbetts has been violently and permanently separated from her parents at the hands of an illegal immigrant.
‘Yet another young person has been murdered by an illegal immigrant. This time a 24-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico who’s been living in the area illegally for four to seven years.
‘Yeah, we have American citizens who murder. That’s true. That’s why we don’t need to deal with it from people who have no legal right to be here in the first place,’ she fumed.
U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst vowed: ‘We cannot allow these tragedies to continue.’
It remains unclear exactly how long Rivera, who is from the Mexican state of Guerrero originally, had been living in the US.
ICE has no record of ever trying to deport him, and the Iowa farm where he worked confirmed yesterday that he had passed background checks when he was employed.
Dane Lang, co-owner of Yarrabee Farms along with Eric Lang, confirmed that Rivera had worked there for four years and was an employee ‘of good standing.’
Dane’s brother is Craig Lang, former president of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and the Iowa Board of Regents, and a 2018 Republican candidate for state secretary of agriculture.
Dane’s statement said: ‘First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Mollie Tibbetts.
‘This is a profoundly sad day for our community. All of us at Yarrabee Farms are shocked to hear that one of our employees was involved and is charged in this case.
‘This individual has worked at our farms for four years, was vetted through the government’s E-Verify system, and was an employee in good standing.
‘On Monday, the authorities visited our farm and talked to our employees. We have cooperated fully with their investigation.’
The E-Verify site allows employers to establish the eligibility of employees, both US or foreign, by comparing a worker’s Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 with data held by the government.
The employee is eligible to work in the US if the data matches. If it doesn’t, the worker has only eight federal government work days to resolve the issue.
Rivera lived in Iowa with his girlfriend, who was friends with Mollie on Facebook, and their baby daughter.
The girlfriend fled town on Tuesday after his arrest.
Many of those who commented on Mollie’s death compared it to the 2015 death of Kate Steinle who was shot to death by an illegal immigrant in San Francisco.
Her killer had been reported to ICE but was allowed to go free because he was living in a sanctuary city.
On July 18, Rivera followed Mollie around Brooklyn in his dark Chevy Malibu, watching her as she jogged ahead of him.
He eventually parked his car, got out and started jogging behind her then alongside her to try to have a conversation.
When she refused and threatened to call the police, he attacked. Rivera told police he ‘blacked out’ and does not remember what exactly he did to her but that he ‘came to’ while driving his car with Mollie in the trunk.
He then dragged her lifeless body into a cornfield 10 miles away and dumped her, covering her corpse with some leaves.
As the five-week hunt for her intensified, there was mention of a dark SUV driving around the neighborhood where she was last seen at around 7.30pm.
Police were only able to link Rivera to the car by watching surveillance footage they obtained from cameras at someone’s home.
They discovered the cameras while canvassing the neighborhood a week ago and spent days combing through the footage.
On Monday, Rivera did not resist police. He went with them willingly, made a full confession and then led them to Mollie’s body. His motive remains unclear.
In his arrest warrant, police describe Rivera’s chilling confession.
‘Rivera admitted to making contact with the female running in Brooklyn and that he pursued her in his vehicle in an area east of Brooklyn. Defendant Rivera stated he parked the vehicle, got out and was running behind her and alongside of her.
‘Rivera stated that she grabbed her phone and said: ‘I’m gonna call the police.’
‘Rivera said he then panicked and he got mad and that he ‘blocked’ his memory which is what he does when he gets very upset and doesn’t remember anything after that until he came to at an intersection.
‘Rivera stated he then made a u-turn, drove back to an entrance to a field and then drove into a driveway to a cornfield.
‘He noticed there was an ear piece from headphones in his lap and that this is how he realized he put her in the trunk.
‘He went to get her out of the trunk and he noticed blood on the side of her head.
‘He described the female’s clothing, what she was wearing including an ear phone or head phone set.
‘He described that he dragged Tibbetts on foot from his vehicle to a secluded location in a cornfield.
‘He put her over his shoulder and took her about 20 meters into the cornfield and he left her covered in some corn leaves and that he left her there, face up.
‘The Defendant was able to use his phone to determine the route he traveled from Brooklyn.