Authorities say man charged in death of Mollie Tibbetts in country illegally

If convicted, the charge carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison

By AP

MONTEZUMA, Iowa - Police say a man in the country illegally has been charged with murder in the death of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts.

A charge of 1st degree murder has been filed against 24-year-old Cristhian Bahena Rivera. If convicted, the charge carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

Investigators say they used surveillance video in tracking down Rivera. The video showed Tibbetts jogging in a rural area near her hometown of Brooklyn as well as Rivera's car.

Police had searched the area but noted her body was found in a field, covered with corn stalks.

Mitch Mortvedt, an assistant director of the state Division of Criminal Investigations, says Tuesday that authorities are holding a suspect and will release more details during a 4 p.m. news conference.

Earlier Tuesday, investigators announced a body believed to be Tibbetts was found in rural Poweshiek County.

Tibbetts, a 20-year-old student at the University of Iowa, has been missing since July 18.

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