Who Is Iris Monarrez? Cristhian Rivera was arrested and charged with the murder of Iowa colleges student Mollie Tibbetts who was missing for a month.
The suspected killer was arrested and charged on Aug. 21 after security cameras led authorities to his car. When apprehended, Rivera led police to Tibbetts' body, which was hidden under corn stalks. He explained to investigators that he parked his car and ran alongside the 20-year-old and when Tibbetts threatened to call police, he blacked out. He added that he came to only to discover the college student's body in his trunk so he disposed of her in a cornfield 15 minutes from where she went missing.
Rivera is not friends with Tibbetts on Facebook but has one friend in common with her — his ex.
A woman Rivera was once romantically involved with is friends with Tibbetts and some of her family members on Facebook. Iris Monarrez, the mother of Rivera's child, is friends with the slain college student as well as her brothers, Scott Tibbetts and Jake Tibbetts. It is not confirmed how she is connected to them, although they may have attended the same high school. A Brooklyn, Guernsey, and Malcom High School newsletter mentions both Monarrez and Tibbetts.
In 2012, Monarrez posted, "That moment when you feel like you got no one there for you." Tibbetts commented "??" on the status, basically confirming the two knew each other and were more than acquaintances.
These small details had police wondering if she was involved in Tibbetts' murder.
Monarrez and Rivera began dating in 2013 and had a baby together before reportedly splitting in 2015. Photos and comments over the years prove the two were involved romantically.
In 2014, Monarrez posted a photo with Rivera and captioned it with heart emojis. When she uploaded a new selfie, Rivera called her his princess in the comments.
He also linked himself to Monarrez on his page. Rivera posted a photo of a baby and tagged his ex-girlfriend.
Monarrez has not been publicly active on her Facebook page in three years, but the former partners reportedly haven't spoken since 2015.
Despite the coincidental links, authorities have confirmed she's not a suspect in the case. Rivera, an illegal immigrant who has been in the U.S. for four to seven years, is the sole suspect in the murder of Tibbetts. According to surveillance video footage that authorities spend hours reviewing, he was possibly the last person to see Tibbetts alive. The videos were used to create a timeline of her disappearance and led police to Rivera.
He is charged with murder in the first degree and could face life in prison without parole.
Sarah Gangraw is a travel-addicted cat lady who lives on black coffee and cheese. She has a degree in journalism and writes about all things news, entertainment and crime. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter — she's occasionally funny.