The death of Mollie Tibbetts, a college student whose body was found hidden in a rural Iowa cornfield earlier this week, has been ruled a homicide.
Tibbetts, 20, died as a result of “multiple sharp force injuries,” according to the Iowa State Medical Examiner. “Further examination may result in additional findings,” it said.
The results shed some light on how Tibbetts died, but it’s unlikely anything else will be revealed. Iowa law states autopsy results must remain confidential beyond cause and manner of death.
Cristhian Rivera, whom law enforcement described as an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, has been charged with first-degree murder related to Tibbetts’ death. He is being held in lieu of $5 million bond until his arraignment, which the judge scheduled for Aug. 31.
Tibbetts, a sophomore majoring in psychology at the University of Iowa, was found dead early Tuesday. Her body was hidden in a rural Poweshiek County cornfield outside the town of Guernsey, police said. She had been missing since July 18, when she went jogging in Brooklyn, a town located about 70 miles northeast of Des Moines.
Authorities said they retrieved Tibbetts’ body after interviewing Rivera. He has admitted to abducting Tibbetts, according to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. When questioned by police, Rivera confessed to being involved with Tibbetts’ disappearance and led investigators to her body, according to authorities said.
Tibbetts’ parents released a brief statement on Wednesday, offering thanks for the support they’ve received and requesting privacy as they grieve the loss of their daughter.
“Our hearts are broken,” the statement reads, in part. “We know many of you will join us as we continue to carry Mollie in our hearts forever. At this time, our family asks that we be allowed the time to process our devastating loss and share our grief in private.”