Autopsy results show Mollie Tibbetts’ death caused by ‘multiple sharp-force injuries’

A press release said further examination may lead to more information about the UI student’s death.



Marissa Payne, Managing Editor

After conducting an autopsy Wednesday, Iowa’s state medical examiner determined that University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts had died by “homicide resulting from multiple sharp-force injuries,” the Iowa Department of Public Safety announced on Aug. 23.

Authorities this week charged Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, with first-degree murder in connection with the slaying of Tibbetts, 20, who would have been a UI sophomore this semester.

Authorities announced Tuesday in Montezuma that Rivera got out of his car while Tibbetts was on a run and ran alongside her, then abducted and killed her. She was found dead that day in rural Poweshiek County after Rivera led law-enforcement officials to her body, which was covered in corn stalks.

There may be additional findings upon further examination, according to Iowa Public Safety.

Under Iowa law, autopsy reports are confidential “except for the cause and manner of death.”

Rivera is being held in the Poweshiek County Jail, and the magistrate in the case has set Rivera’s bond at $5 million cash only. If released on bond, he wouldn’t be allowed to leave Poweshiek County.

Rivera is set to appear in court again Aug. 31 at 2 p.m. in Poweshiek County.

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