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Investigators Chase Down 200 Plus Leads In Mollie Tibbetts Case, Still Searching

Investigators aren’t ruling out any conclusions in the ongoing search for a missing eastern Iowa woman. A team of local, state and federal officers looking into the disappearance of Mollie Tibbetts say they’ve chased down more than 200 leads in the two weeks since she went missing. 

The team, which includes officers from the Poweshiek County Sheriff's Office, officials from the Iowa Department of Public Safety and the FBI, is actively vetting new tips and conducting searches. Director of Investigative Operations for the Iowa DPS Kevin Winker said officials haven't ruled out any possibilities.

"Investigators are looking at all possible sources of information provided by people and obtained from technology. We have not identified the reason for Mollie's disappearance and have not ruled out any possibilities at this point," Winker said.

Twenty year old Mollie Tibbetts was last seen jogging on the streets of Brooklyn in Poweshiek County around 7:30 in the evening on July 18th, while dog-sitting for her boyfriend. Tibbetts' family reported her missing when she didn't arrive at work on July 19th.

Since that time, community members have peppered Eastern Iowa with fliers, yard signs, even magnets on cars urging anyone with information to call the Poweshiek County Sheriff's Office. Tips can be called in to 800-452- 1111 or 515-223-1400, or sent by email to tips@poweshiekcosheriff.com.

"All I'm saying is we don't know where Mollie's at right now and I am not going to draw any conclusions about the circumstances of her disappearance. Other than it is not consistent with her past." - Kevin Winker, Iowa Department of Public Safety

Speaking with reporters Tuesday, investigators thanked Tibbetts family members for their cooperation, and the Brooklyn community for its support. Poweshiek County Sheriff Thomas Kriegel called the work by volunteers and law enforcement officers "tireless."

"On any given day, upwards of 30 to 40 investigators are working on this case," Kriegel said. "Searches have included ground, air and the utilization of canines."

Kevin Winker also urged the public to be patient as the investigation proceeds; officers are limited in what information they can release, Winker said.

"While I respect the fact that everybody wants to know what’s happened and everybody wants to know what the details of the investigation are, you have to respect the fact that our investigators know what’s best for Mollie at this point, in terms of having the best probability of finding her," Winker said.

Winker did say that besides questioning community members, the team is also analyzing data from Tibbetts’ Fitbit and social media.

“I’m not going to discuss the findings or the conclusions that we have from any testing or anything else that we’ve done," Winker said. "I can tell you that we’re looking at all technology as it relates to Mollie. And we are looking to generate leads based on that technology."

Winker said investigators are willing to talk with anyone who has information as the team continues to try to understand Mollie Tibbetts' life and habits, and understand who was in and around Brooklyn when she disappeared.

"All I’m saying is we don’t know where Mollie’s at right now and I am not going to draw any conclusions about the circumstances of her disappearance. Other than it is not consistent with her past," Winker said.