An Iowa man who believes he may be the last person to see missing Mollie Tibbetts alive the night before she went missing has told how she jogged past his home in a neon pink sports bra and yoga pants at 8pm the night before she was reported missing.
Devin Riley saw the 20-year-old run past his home in Brooklyn, Iowa, on July 18, at around 8pm, around 30 minutes after Mollie was seen running near her boyfriend’s home 0.9 miles away.
After she was reported missing and her disappearance heavily publicized, Riley contacted police on Facebook to say he believes he was the last to see her alive.
Riley lives with his fiancee and their two children in a house on the other edge of town from Mollie’s boyfriend’s where she was staying alone the night she went missing.
Devin Riley, 34, believes he was the last person to see Mollie Tibbetts alive on July 18 when she ran past his home at 8pm in Brooklyn, Iowa. He spoke out on Thursday (pictured)
On Thursday, he told Good Morning America how police have since searched his home, questioned him and his co-workers.
‘She jogged on the street, up the hill and there was just nothing of it until I heard someone was missing and then it really hit me that I haven’t seen that jogger since then.’
She was wearing like a neon pink sports bra with black khaki yoga pants and an armband with her music device, or phone … hair in a ponytail, just jogging like normal, any other day
‘She was wearing like a neon pink sports bra with black khaki yoga pants and an armband with her music device, or phone … hair in a ponytail, just jogging like normal, any other day.’
Riley contacted the Powoshiek County Sheriff’s Office on Facebook afterwards and soon, officers arrived at his home to carry out a search.
‘It was pretty terrifying at the beginning because I didn’t know what was going on,’ he said.
‘I panicked and I put my girls in the bathroom, but they were really polite … just did the walk through and were out in like 10 to 15 minutes.’
He said it was ‘gut-wrenching’ to think that something so sinister could happen in the small town where they live.
‘It’s gut-wrenching to know I could have my daughter out here and I could go inside for a minute and she could be gone.
‘You just don’t expect it from a town like this,’ he added.
The above graphic illustrates the events before and after Mollie’s disappearance on July 18
Riley’s home is pictured. It is 0.9 miles from Mollie’s boyfriend’s home where she was staying overnight alone on the night she vanished
Mollie is seen above in what is thought to be the last video of her before she disappeared
Officers say they have received almost 800 tips in the search for Mollie, but have turned up no concrete leads. Police after offering $313,000 – a record for the area – for any information which leads to Mollie.
Her father Rob Tibbetts has directly appealed to her kidnapper to ‘let Mollie go’ and ‘turn yourself in.’
And as the search for the young woman continues, a friend shared videos of the carefree student and issued a plea for tips.
One of the clips, taken the day before she vanished according to ABC News, shows a giggling Mollie sitting cross-legged on the floor as a friend records her – while the other shows her salsa dancing in a gym.
In the first clip, she is seen laughing as the camera zooms in before lifting a small mirror to cover her mouth then sticking her tongue out.
Jarrett Rose shared the two clips of Mollie on Facebook, writing: ‘2 weeks since I’ve seen your smile and it feels like an eternity has passed by.
In a second video, she is shown giggling sitting cross-legged on the floor
In another clip shared by friends a laughing Tibbetts is seen salsa dancing in a gym
‘Your voice echoes through my heart every day, giving me the inspiration to never give up on you. No one has, or ever will give up hope and stop searching for you!
‘NO TIP IS INSIGNIFICANT!!! Please contact the tip lines if anyone knows anything! We WILL bring you home Mollie, and you’ll be salsa dancing in no time!’
Meanwhile, Mollie’s father told Fox News on Tuesday that his daughter didn’t just ‘get up and walk away,’ so it’s logical to assume she has been abducted.
He said: ‘To that person, you’re probably very afraid. This isn’t probably a situation that you anticipated.
‘You don’t know how to extricate yourself from this but the best thing to do at this point is to put an end to it…’
Mollie’s father Rob Tibbetts (above) believes there is someone out there with information that could help located his missing daughter
‘Do not escalate this and do not miss out one more day. Let Mollie go and turn yourself in.’
Mollie’s father previously said he believes there is someone out there with information that could help located his missing daughter.
‘It doesn’t matter what we’re going through, we just need people to think – because somebody knows something, and they don’t even know it’s important,’ he said.
He also said on Monday night that he feels his daughter is with someone she knows who is now ‘in over their head’.
‘If someone out there is holding Mollie, and they’re in over their head and they’ve made a horrible mistake, you can end it now before it goes any further,’ he said at a press conference.
Later, he said he was encouraged by the fact they had not found her body.
‘I’ll be honest with you early on I wasn’t as hopeful as I am now.
‘The longer we go without finding Mollie’s body the more hopeful we are that she’s alive somewhere and going through something that she can survive.’
Mollie (pictured with her boyfriend Dalton Jack) was reported missing on July 19 when she didn’t show up for work. Her boyfriend was working out of town and she was staying in his home
But while her father is hopeful, Mollie’s mother says she is in ‘purgatory’ and is tortured by her daughter’s disappearance.
”I’m either going to be headed up to heaven or down to hell, depending on the result,’ Laura Calderwood, told DailyMail.com last week.
Meanwhile, police say they are looking at surveillance footage from businesses along the route Mollie usually jogs.
The data from Mollie’s Fitbit, which contained GPS-enabled tracking, is also being analyzed.
But they revealed no specific details about developments in the case at a press conference on Monday.
On Monday, it was revealed that a pig farmer questioned by FBI agents over the disappearance had refused to take a polygraph test.
Wayne Cheney, 56, who lives in a trailer in Guernsey around 10 miles from Brooklyn, appeared on the radar of authorities after a red shirt similar to Mollie’s daycare center uniform was found in a field near his home.
However, it is not clear if it the shirt actually belonged to Mollie or not.
Cheney, who has previous convictions for stalking an ex-girlfriend, has spoken three times to police.
He has also given interviews where he laughs nervously and says he had no idea where Mollie is, but suspects ‘some guy has her’.
When the FBI asked him to take a polygraph test, he refused. ‘I don’t need to. It’s stupid,’ he told The Des Moines Register on Monday. He has allowed police to search his home and land, saying he had ‘nothing to hide.’
Wayne Cheney (pictured) has been questioned about Mollie’s disappearance, but refused to take a polygraph test
Mollie was staying overnight at her boyfriend Dalton Jack’s home with his dogs when she vanished.
Dalton was ruled out early on as a suspect because he was working 130 miles away in Dubuque at the time.
His brother and his brother’s fiancée who also live in the home were also cleared because they had alibis.
Meanwhile, the reward fund for information on Mollie’s disappearance has now exceeded $300,000.
Greg Willey, spokesman for Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa, says the Mollie Tibbetts reward fund has reached $301,363, which is a record for the organization that was incorporated in 1982.
Willey says donations have come from more than 180 individuals and businesses from across the country.
Officers from the FBI, state and local law enforcement agencies are working to find her.
She was last seen jogging in her home town of Brooklyn, which has a population of 1,400, and is located around 70 miles east of Des Moines.
On Sunday, a body of a young woman was found in rural Lee County near West Point in southeast Iowa, around 87 miles from where Mollie was last seen.
But authorities later said the body was not Mollie.
Special Agent Rick Rahn, of the Iowa Criminal Investigation Division, said on Monday that investigators identified the body as that of another 20-year-old woman, Sadie Alvarado, who lived in Muscatine.
Rahn says a 28-year-old man has been charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident in connection to Alvarado’s death.