Defense attorney Jennifer Frese speaks to the judge during Cristhian Bahena Rivera’s trial, on Monday, May 24, 2021, in the Scott County Courthouse, in Davenport, Iowa. Bahena Rivera is on trial after being charged with first degree murder in the death of Mollie Tibbetts in July 2018. (Kelsey Kremer/Des Moines Register via AP, Pool)
UPDATED 8:41 AM PT – Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Witnesses have continued to testify in the trial of the man accused of killing 20-year-old University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts. Testimonies on Monday included an FBI agent and detective who spoke about the murder confession of 20-year old Cristhian Bahena Rivera.
Tibbetts vanished while out for a run back in 2018 and Rivera admitted to killing her and hiding her body in a cornfield. The witnesses spoke about Tibbetts lifestyle and character describing her as “low-risk.”
“A lot of our victims…there’s drugs and alcohol…there’s abusive relationships…there’s different factors that would push that person into a higher-risk of becoming a victim,” explained Trent Vileta, Detective for the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations. “Mollie Tibbitts didn’t have any of the those…Mollie Tibbitts probably had the nicest text messages we have ever read.”
Prosecutors have rested their case following four days of witness testimony. Meanwhile, the defense is set to take its turn Tuesday. Rivera faces life in prison if convicted for the murder.