Mollie Tibbetts's cousin responds to claims that her loved one's murder is a political issue

The cousin of murdered college student Mollie Tibbetts is firing back at social media trolls who claim her loved one’s death is a political issue.

On Tuesday night, Samantha Lucas, a second cousin of Tibbetts’s, shared a tweet written by Candace Owens, the communication director of the conservative nonprofit organization Turning Point USA, that read in part, “Leftists boycotted, screamed, and cried when illegal immigrants were temporarily separated from their parents. What will they do for Mollie Tibbetts?”

In response, Lucas tweeted, “Hey, I’m a member of Mollie’s family and we are not so f***ing small-minded that we generalize a whole population based on some bad individuals. Now stop being a f***ing snake and using my cousin’s death as political propaganda. Take her name out of your mouth.” Lucas did not respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment.

(Screenshot: Twitter/SamLucass)
(Screenshot: Twitter/SamLucass)

Tibbetts, 20, was reported missing from her hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa, one day after she went jogging on July 18, reported People. Federal law enforcement launched a search for the student, who People called a “creature of habit” and “sweet and sunny.”

According to CNN, after viewing surveillance video, police were led to a Mexican man named Cristhian Rivera, a four-year employee at Yarrabee Farms in Brooklyn. Court documents reportedly state that Rivera approached Tibbetts, who threatened to “call the police.” Rivera claimed that he blacked out at that point, woke up at an intersection in Poweshiek County, and “realized he had put the woman in the trunk of his car.” He deposited her body in a cornfield, covering it with leaves; police found a body and Tibbetts’s clothing there. Rivera is charged with first-degree murder.

The death of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts has been politicized on social media. (Photo: Departamento de <span>Investigacion </span>Criminal de Iowa via AP, Archivo)
The death of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts has been politicized on social media. (Photo: Departamento de Investigacion Criminal de Iowa via AP, Archivo)

According to the Des Moines Register, Rivera’s lawyer Allen Richards denies that his client is illegally living in Iowa and claims he was working here legally. However, the Washington Post reports that Rivera is in the U.S. illegally and, according to Yarrabee Farms, provided fake documentation to pass a background check, and that the company failed to properly vet Rivera.

The idea that Tibbetts’s killer was not in the country legally spread on social media, adding tension to the public debate over President Trump’s immigration policies and his pledge to build a wall between the United States and Mexico to curtail crime.

On Tuesday, Trump publicly tied Tibbetts’s death to immigration at a Charleston, W.Va., rally. “You heard about today with the illegal alien coming in very sadly from Mexico,” he said. “And you saw what happened to that incredible beautiful young woman. Should have never happened. Illegally in our country. We’ve had a huge impact but the laws are so bad, the immigration laws are such a disgrace. We’re getting it changed but we have to get more Republicans.”

Social media backed Lucas.

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