Investigators say they have concluded that a woman spotted in northwest Missouri was not a missing Iowa college student.
Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation special agent Mike Krapfl confirmed to the Associated Press on Thursday that the reported sighting of Mollie Tibbetts wasn’t substantiated and has been ruled out by investigators.
“Every day I feel Mollie’s presence”: Mollie Tibbetts’ mother speaks about staying strong as the search for her daughter continues https://t.co/N5oZfxvFs3 pic.twitter.com/Ifplu7lu6t— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 2, 2018
Police responded Thursday to a possible sighting of Mollie Tibbetts at a truck stop in Kearney, Missouri.
Kearney Police Department officers conducted a search, spoke with witnesses and reviewed all footage from the scene.
Tibbetts was not sighted in any surveillance video. Only one person at the rest stop claims to have seen this individual.
CBS affiliate KCCI-TV reports a spokesperson with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said authorities are aware of the possible sighting. They are investigating but couldn’t immediately confirm whether the tip was legitimate.
The reward for the safe return of the missing University of Iowa college student has jumped to $30,000. A fund for the reward was set up at First State Bank in Brooklyn, Iowa.
Tibbetts was last seen jogging on the evening of July 18 in Brooklyn. Her family reported her missing the next day after she didn’t show up to work.
At a news conference Tuesday, Kevin Winker, director of investigative operations for the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said investigators haven’t drawn any conclusions about what happened to Tibbetts other than that disappearing on her own “is not consistent with her past.”
He said dozens of investigators from his agency, the FBI and local law enforcement are working on the case, and that they haven’t ruled out any possibilities and are checking out every lead they receive.
WOI-TV, CBS and the Associated Press contributed to this report.