Mollie Tibbetts’ Alleged Killer Cristhian Rivera Bahena Pleads Not Guilty

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
September 19, 2018US News

The man accused of killing 20-year-old Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts pleaded not guilty in the case.

Cristhian Rivera Bahena made the plea on murder charges in an arraignment hearing on Sept. 19, and his trial is slated for April 16, 2019, Fox News reported.

Rivera, 24, was arrested last month and charged with first-degree murder after Tibbetts went missing in July while going on a jog. Her body was discovered in a cornfield about 10 miles from Brooklyn, Iowa.

The search and Rivera’s arrest drew national attention, as investigators believe that he arrived in the United States illegally from Mexico several years ago. An immigration detainer from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency was placed on him.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services told Fox News in August that “a search of records by USCIS revealed Rivera did not make any DACA requests nor were any grants given.”

rivera christian tibbets
Cristhian Bahena Rivera is escorted into the Poweshiek County Courthouse for his initial court appearance in Montezuma, Iowa, on Aug. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

It added: “We have found no record in our systems indicating he has any lawful immigration status.”

Rivera is currently jailed on $5 million cash-only bond, KCRG reported. Prosecutors say that he allegedly stabbed Tibbetts to death.

A criminal complaint said that Rivera admitted observing Tibbetts during an evening run. Surveillance camera footage captured Rivera’s black Chevy Malibu driving near where the woman vanished, officials said. When he was taken in by police, he said he got out and ran alongside her.

Rivera “blocked” the memory, “which is what he does when he gets very upset,” said the charging document, the BBC reported.

Rivera was arrested after admitting to investigators he spotted Tibbetts jogging on July 18, and started jogging behind her then alongside her after pulling over and exiting a vehicle he was driving, according to previous reports.

Tibbetts noticed Rivera and became scared. She told Rivera “I’m gonna call the police” and grabbed her phone, Rivera told investigators, according to a probable cause statement.

Next thing he knew, he was back in his car and Tibbett’s body was in his trunk. He dumped her body in a remote cornfield, according to reports.

“Our hearts are broken,” said her family in August. “On behalf of Mollie’s entire family, we thank all of those from around the world who have sent their thoughts and prayers for our girl.”

From The Epoch Times

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