Cristhian Bahena Rivera convicted of murdering Mollie Tibbetts

SCOTT COUNTY, Iowa (KWQC/NBC) – An immigrant farmhand has been found guilty in the murder of an Iowa college student.

Cristhian Bahena Rivera was accused in the stabbing death of Mollie Tibbetts in July of 2018.

Tibbetts, a 20-year-old student at the University of Iowa, disappeared while out for a jog in her hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa.

Investigators said Bahena Rivera led them to her body in a cornfield several weeks later.

Prosecutors said Bahena Rivera’s car was seen on home surveillance video driving past Tibbetts several times. He told investigators that he got out of the car and accosted her.

Defense attorneys argued that Bahena Rivera’s partial confession was coerced and lasted 11 hours.

Bahena Rivera also later told investigators that two armed men forced him to drive to Brooklyn, where they saw Tibbetts jogging, and that he and one of the men waited in the car while the other followed Tibbetts.

The 26-year-old is set to be sentenced to life without parole next month.

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