Cristhian Rivera has been charged with Murder in the First Degree in the death of 20-year-old Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts. Rivera abducted Mollie while she was out for a run on July 18th. Her body was found yesterday in a cornfield. Why did Rivera kill her? What was his motive? These are just some of the questions running through our minds. It is hard to grasp the amount of evil it requires to murder someone at random but a portrait of Mollie Tibbetts' murderer is emerging.
Rivera had been in Brooklyn, Iowa for four years as a migrant worker on a dairy farm. He lived with other migrant workers and according to the owners of the farm where he worked, was an employee in good standing. In fact, Rivera had been vetted by the government's E-Verify system, which allows employers to check the eligibility of employees by comparing a worker's Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 with data held by the government. A disturbing portrait of Rivera's state of mind is emerging via his social media accounts. Let's take a look at some of his posts and how they may have pointed to the fact that he was capable of the gruesome crime he committed.
1. His Facebook page
Cristhian Rivera's Facebook page is filled with selfies and a picture of guns. It states that he studied at Preparatoria 35, went to "en la escuela de la vida" (school of life) and was from Guayabilo, Guerrero, Mexico.He indicates that he is single. His page is largely in Spanish.
2. "Cuz so ugly I'm that haha"
In a comment thread on May 26th on a new profile picture of Rivera, he seemingly joked with a person, writing (translated from Spanish) "Cuz so ugly I'm that haha." The friend responded, "You look finished for life." Rivera replied "Q evil ha ha" and then added "You are very evil."
3. Monsters of Cristhian Bahena Rivera
In another post from September 2015, he posted about a videogame, writing, "The monsters of Cristhian Bahena Rivera are prodigious fighters. Join Monster Legends now and raise your own special monsters, fight in combat and get generous rewards." He was referring to a game on Facebook called Monster Legends.
4. Statement from the Tibbetts family
The family of Mollie Tibbetts released a statement. It said: "Our hearts are broken. On behalf of Mollie's entire family, we thank all of those from around the world who have sent their thoughts and prayers for our girl. We know that many of you will join us as we continue to carry Mollie in our hearts forever. At this time, our family asks that we be allowed the time to process our devastating loss and share our grief in private. Again, thank you for the outpouring of love and support that has been shared in Mollie's name. We remain forever grateful."
5. The arrest affidavit
Details of Mollie Tibbetts' last moments of life have emerged from the arrest affidavit. Rivera was "driving back and forth" in the rural area where Tibbetts was running on July 18th. The affidavit said that Rivera got out of the car and started running next to her. Tibbetts pulled out her cell phone and told him she was going to call the police. Rivera claims he blacked out "and doesn't remember anything after that until he came to an intersection" while driving his car. Rivera then realized he put Tibbetts in the trunk when he "noticed there was an ear piece from her headphones in his lap." He then drove to a cornfield, dragged Tibbetts bloody body to a secluded spot, and covered her with corn stalks.
6. His job
Rivera worked for a dairy farm called Yarrabee Farms. The farm is owned by the family of Craig Lang, a prominent Iowa Republican. Yarrabee Farms released a statement Tuesday, saying, "This individual has worked at our farms for four years, was vetted through the government's E-Verify system, and was an employee in good standing," On Monday, the authorities visited our farm and talked to our employees. We have cooperated fully with their investigation."
Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based freelance writer covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. She is deeply devoted to her chocolate Labrador and an avid long distance runner. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.
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