Mollie Tibbetts’ mother opens the home to the son of Mexican immigrants after his parents fled slain student’s town

connectVideoMollie Tibbetts murdered: the chronology of the events

The mother of slain University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts opened her home to the teenage son of Mexican immigrants who worked with the man suspected of killing her daughter and left the small town, because they feared that it was unsafe.

Laura Calderwood took in Ulises Felix, 17, after his parents left Brooklyn, Iowa, according to the Washington Post. The man accused of killing 20-year-old Tibbetts, Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, worked together with Felix ‘ parents on a farm in the small town. Felix said his mother cooked for the Family and are a cousin of defendant. Rivera and Felix’s cousin, Iris Monarrez, had a daughter together, but divorced later.

After Rivera was arrested, Felix’s parents wanted to leave, out of fear for the city was unsafe. Felix wanted to finish school in the city and Tibbett’s brother, Scott, offered to let him stay with him.


“Living here,” Scott said Felix. “We got an extra room.”

When her son asked her if Felix could live with them, Calderwood said she thought of Mollie and what she would do.

Calderwood said she was not aware of Felix’s relationship with Rivera. Felix said Calderwood, who Rivera was sending money to his family to help them to build a house and that he had family in the U.S.

Mollie Tibbetts was last seen jogging in Brooklyn, Iowa, around 7:30 a.m. on July 18.
(Family handout)

Calderwood opened up about her daughter’s death after a friend asked her how Mollie died.


“In the chest [referring to multiple stab wounds]. And I also know there was one in the skull,” Calderwood told a friend. “… Mollie’s death was horrific.”

In September, Mollie’s father, Rob Tibbetts, wrote an op-ed for the Des Moines Register that his daughter would have “strongly opposed to” anti-immigration views, and asked politicians not to use her death to “promote different political agendas.”

Mollie Tibbetts’ mother, Laura Calderwood [center], listens at a press conference on Aug. 21, 2018, the day of her daughter’s body was found.

Mollie’s body was found in a field covered with corn stalks on Aug. 21. She was last seen jogging in Brooklyn, Iowa, on July 18.

The researchers said they used surveillance footage to identify Rivera. The video showed Tibbetts jogging and Rivera’s car. A criminal complaint alleges Rivera well-known authorities during a lengthy interrogation, he says he drove his car to follow the Tibbetts’ jog, eventually got a foot to talk to her and then went behind her. Rivera told investigators he panicked after Tibbetts threatened to use her cell phone to call the police. He claims that he is a black-out at that time and later, as he was unloading Tibbetts’ bloody body in the trunk of a car, according to the complaint.

Rivera, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, was charged with first-degree murder in Tibbetts’ death. He pleaded not guilty to murder at his arraignment. His trial is scheduled to begin on April 16, 2019.

Fox News’ Jennifer Earl and Greg Norman contributed to this report.

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