A Brooklyn, Iowa, woman says she had her own encounter with
suspected killer, Cristhian Rivera, the man accused of abducting
and murdering University of Iowa student, Mollie Tibbetts.
“He would just stare. He wouldn’t really, like, talk,” Brooke
Bestell, 20, told The New York Times. “Something about him was
Bestell said Rivera once asked her out on a date. She declined
the offer but it didn’t stop him from trying to pursue her. He
reportedly began sending her Facebook messages in the middle of
the night. She added that he also started messaging two of her
“Just over and over, like every week or so, he would message me
Bestell stated the last message she received from Rivera
occurred on June 13 at around 3 a.m. A little over a month
later, Rivera allegedly killed 20-year-old Mollie, after he
abducted her while she was out jogging, according to court
As CrimeOnline previously reported, two other people in the
Brooklyn area reported similar accounts with Rivera. Speaking
on behalf of her 17-year-old sister, Brooklyn resident Bailey
Gibson, 18, told MailOnline that although her younger sibling
initially thought Rivera was nice, he eventually made the teen
feel unsafe and “creeped out.”
“I know Cristhian from my sister. She thought he was a nice,
well-spoken person. They hung out a few times but nothing really
happened romantically,” she said. “She told me that a little
while ago he drove up to her while she was walking through
Brooklyn. He told her she was really pretty and things like
“It was more flirty than sexual but my sister is very shy. She
didn’t appreciate it. Even though she knew him a little she felt
unsafe and didn’t want to talk to him. In the end she was really
creeped out by his behavior. She had to keep telling him she
After a while, according to Bailey, Rivera left her little
sister alone. Neither Bailey or her sister thought anything else
of it until the news of Mollie’s death and the details
surrounding it surfaced.
Another Brooklyn resident, Justin, stated that Rivera likely
followed his girlfriend home and circled around the block in her
neighborhood at least two times in the past.
“He followed my girlfriend twice – in the same exact black
Malibu,” Justin told the outlet. “I remember her calling me when
she noticed how slow he was driving by in circles, turning
around the block to keep up with her several times on her walk
Justin claimed the reported the first incident happened around
sunset as his fiancé made her way home from a grocery store.
Justin indicated someone driving a black car “drove past her
about six times,” then continued to circle around the
neighborhood after she arrived home.
“It makes you wonder if Mollie was his only victim,” Justin
Mollie Tibbetts Timeline
Mollie’s boyfriend saw her for the last time on July 16, before
leaving town to work at a Dubuque construction site with his
brother, around 100 miles away from Brooklyn.
On July 17, Dalton and his brother, who lives with him, drove to
work. Mollie agreed to dog-sit while he was gone.
At around 5:30 p.m. on July 17, Mollie’s brother, Jake Tibbetts,
who shares a car with her, dropped her off at Dalton’s home.
Mollie stayed alone while watching the dogs.
Investigators report another neighbor reported Mollie out for a
jog at around 7:30 p.m. on July 18.
Mollie had plans to go to her mother’s house for dinner on the
evening on July 18. She never showed up.
At 10 p.m. on July 18, Dalton opened the SnapChat message from
Mollie. He said it looked like she took the photo while indoors.
It’s unclear when Mollie took the picture but detectives think
she took it at some point on Wednesday.
Jake Tibbetts, who has been cleared as a suspect, sends Mollie a
text message at 7:30 a.m., asking if she needed the car for
work. The text message was not read.
Dalton sends Mollie a text message, wishing her a good morning.
Mollie does not read the text message.
Mollie’s mother, Laura Calderwood, sends Mollie several text
messages throughout the afternoon. All text messages remain
Jake Tibbetts calls Laura Calderwood and says Mollie never made
it to work at a daycare center. Laura calls the police.
The Facebook group, “Finding Mollie Tibbetts,” was created. It
currently has over 40,000 members.
Hundreds of people show up in the Brooklyn area to search for
The Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office announces that tips should
directed to its office.
The University of Iowa released a statement on Twitter that the
school is also monitoring the incident and looking for any
Authorities announce Mollie is still missing and that nothing
was found during the searches.
Dalton tells ABC he’s optimistic about Mollie’s return.
Laura Calderwood says her daughter is an “outgoing, fun, loving
life, loving person.”
Poweshiek County Sheriff Thomas Kriegel announces that no one
from the “tight-knit” community in Brooklyn has been missing
Investigators continue to follow up with tips and leads.
The family spreads the search even further by distributing
flyers across the state.
Kriegel indicates Mollie could have possibly been abducted.
Investigators search two hog farms after following up on tips,
but the searches yield no results.
Wayne Cheney is questioned by the FBI.
Authorities search Cheney’s home and cellphone.
Iowa Department of Public Safety released a statement announcing
that there are still no suspects but authorities will continue
to pursue leads and investigate.
A neighbor tells a local media outlet that he spotted Mollie
“walking nonchalantly” down the street.
As authorities searched an area close to the Lincoln Wildfire
Reserve in Brooklyn, Iowa, someone mowing their lawn nearby
discovered a red a shirt.
The shirt was turned over to the FBI for evidence processing.
FBI reportedly asked Cheney to take a lie detector test. He
An FBI agent goes to Cheney’s house for a second round of
Authorities revealed there have been “hundreds” of leads and
tips into Mollie’s disappearance.
An Iowa woman’s body was found in Lee County, but despite
speculation, police confirmed it was not Mollie, but instead a
young woman named Sadie Alvarado, who allegedly jumped out of a
moving car while arguing with her boyfriend.
Rob Tibbetts explained why his daughter, according to his own
speculations, may still be alive.
Tibbetts encouraged anyone responsible for Mollie’s
disappearance to come forward now, before things get worse.
Brooklyn resident Devin Riley describes how he saw Mollie jog
past him home on the evening of July 18, explaining that she was
wearing a pink sports bra and running short.
Riley explained that he contacted police after he realized
Mollie had disappeared.
Former FBI profiler says she thinks Mollie left with someone she
knew, explaining that the “most likely scenario is that Mollie
was at least somewhat familiar with the person that she went
Authorities find a deceased body in a rural area between Deep
River, Iowa, and Guernsey, Iowa. Officials stated the body is
likely of Mollie Tibbetts.
Authorities detain Cristhian Bahena Rivera without incident.
Rivera allegedly confesses to hiding Mollie’s body.
During a press conference, authorities announce Rivera entered
the country illegally and has a federal immigration detainer.
Owners of a local dairy farm speak out and claim they checked
Rivera’s eligibility to work in the U.S. prior to hiring him.
Dane Lang, co-owner of Yarrabee Farms, announced that Rivera
used fraudulent identification to obtain employment at the farm.
A Poweshiek County judge sets River’s bond at $5 million.
Authorities are seen searching Rivera’s residence and its
surrounding areas for a possible murder weapon.
Tensions run high as social media groups form in an attempt to
spill anti-immigration rhetoric after the public learned Rivera
is a reported undocumented immigrant.
The Iowa City Latino Festival spokesperson announced the annual
festival would be postponed this year.
Suspect Cristhian Rivera hires two new defense attorneys to
represent him. His former attorney withdrew from the case.
Rivera’s new attorneys withdrew all previous pending motions and
waived Rivera’s preliminary hearing.
[Photo: Mollie Tibbetts; Cristhian Rivera/Handout]