Mollie Tibbetts’ father tells community ‘turn the page’ at funeral mass



Hundreds attend funeral for Mollie Tibbetts

Hundreds pack Mollie Tibbett Brooklyn, Iowa high school gym for her funeral.

The father of Mollie Tibbetts, the Iowa college student, whose disappearance captured the nation’s attention, told members of the small community where she lived and studied on “in the direction of the light,” at his daughter’s funeral Mass Sunday afternoon.

“This community needs to heal,” Rob Tibbetts told a crowd of hundreds who packed the gymnasium at BGM High School in Brooklyn, where his daughter had graduated last year.

“Today we need to the page,” Tibbetts said, according to the Des Moines Register. “We are at the end of a long agony, but we must put in the direction of the life — Mollie’s life — because Mollie no one the victim.”

Tibbetts, a student at the University of Iowa, was found dead in a cornfield Aug. 21 by the researchers, who were led by farmworker Cristhian Bahena Rivera. Rivera, 24, has been charged with first-degree murder in Tibbetts’ death; the researchers have said that he was in the U.S. illegally and lived in Iowa for 4-7 years.

In his panegyric on Sunday, Rob Tibbetts thanked the volunteers and the officials of the law enforcement in the search for his daughter. He also thanked the media, which he credited with the generation of 400,000 tips about Mollie that the potential residence.

“Do you know why there is such an outpouring?” Rob Tibbetts asked. “It is because we see ourselves in Mollie.”

In accordance with the theme of “turning the page” Tibbetts recognized a few attending the service, who once was married, and asked them to stand for a round of applause.

“That felt good,” he said. “That’s what Mollie would have done.” He asked for a round of applause for the BHS’s football team, which won its first game of the season Friday night. Scott Tibbetts, Mollie, the younger brother threw for two touchdown passes and ran for another in the victory.


Mollie’s other brother, Jake Tibbetts, described his older sister uniter who worked on the bringing together of people with differences.

“Have you seen how hard Mollie works in heaven above,” said Jake, who said that he came with his speech to just 20 minutes before the start of the service.

Mollie’s cousin, Morgan Fibular, recalled Tibbetts as a girl that loved spaghetti and “a good Spotify playlist”. She pleaded with mourners to follow Mollie’s example of working for the good.

“Do right by her and share what your strengths are,” Fibular said. “Don’t be angry with God … praise God for his perfect creation.”

Fox News’ Willie James Inman in Brooklyn and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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