Following the arrest of an illegal immigrant suspected of murdering 20-year-old student University of Iowa psychology student Mollie Tibbetts, the White House on Wednesday tweeted a video of families that have been "permanently separated" after an illegal immigrant murdered a loved one.
For 34 days, investigators searched for 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts. Yesterday, an illegal alien, now charged with first-degree murder, led police to the cornfield where her body was found.— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 22, 2018
The Tibbetts family has been permanently separated. They are not alone. pic.twitter.com/BBskwHEJoU
Illegal immigrant Cristhian Bahena Rivera, a 24-year-old Mexican national who used a stolen ID to evade federal detection per the Washington Post, was arrested earlier this week and charged with first-degree murder in the killing. On Wednesday a judge set his bail at $5 million. Rivera says he drove past Tibbetts several times - a surveillance camera aimed at the street capturing his Chevrolet Malibu on film.
“It seemed that he followed her and seemed to be drawn to her on that particular day,” Agent Rick Rahn of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation told reporters Tuesday. “And for whatever reason, he chose to abduct her.”
What happened next, Rivera claims, is blocked from his memory, something he said happens when he gets upset or angry. The next thing he recalled, he told investigators, was being in his car and finding a headphone earpiece in his lap that did not belong to him. That prompted him to open his trunk, where he saw the woman in workout clothes, bleeding from the head and motionless. -Washington Post
Rivera said he then dragged Tibbetts's body 60 feet into a desolate cornfield, dropped her in the ground face up, covered the student in corn stalks and then walked away. He led investigators to the body following his arrest.
Some have questioned whether politically correct (PC) culture contributed to Tibbetts' decision not to call the police, despite warning Rivera "I'm gonna call police" after he got out of his car and ran beside her. In question are several articles critical of white people for calling the police on people of color (POC), which appeared right around the time of Tibbetts' disappearance.
Earlier this year, controversy erupted over the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy of enforcing existing laws - which led to the seaparation of approximately 2,000 children from their families, most of whom have been reunited with loved ones.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders mentioned Tibbetts during Wednesay's press briefing.
"Sadly, the individual believed to be responsible for the murder is an illegal immigrant, making this an unfortunate reminder of why we need to strengthen our immigration laws," Sanders said.
And at a Tuesday night rally, President Trump highlighted Tibbetts's murder, telling a West Virginia audience "You heard about today with the illegal alien coming in, very sadly, from Mexico, and you saw what happened to that incredible, beautiful young woman. Should’ve never happened."
"We’ve had a huge impact but the laws are so bad," Trump continued. "The immigration laws are such a disgrace. We’re getting them changed, but we have to get more Republicans."
“It should have never happened…the immigration laws are such a disgrace”: President Trump appears to refer to Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts’ murder. An undocumented man was charged with her killing today. https://t.co/W39wCNuPot pic.twitter.com/2oZbEYWtW7— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 21, 2018