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Family Believes Missing Iowa Student May Be Held Captive, Reward Up To $172,000
Brooklyn, Iowa
Tom Gantert
by Tom Gantert

Mollie Tibbetts' parents believe their daughter may still be alive as she was last seen on July 18

Brooklyn, IA - The reward for information leading to the whereabouts of missing Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts has risen to $172,000, according to family members.

Laura Calderwood, Mollie’s mother, said they had raised $172,000 “that would be paid to you as soon as Mollie is safely at home,” according to Fox News. “We believe Mollie is still alive and if someone has abducted her we are pleading with you to please release her.”

Tibbetts was last seen July 18. Please share this story on social media so that people can help look for her.

The search for the University of Iowa sophomore had investigators questioning Wayne Cheney. He reportedly twice pleaded guilty to stalking, according to WHO-TV. Cheney pleaded guilty to stalking in 2014 and 2009, WHO reported.

Police also investigated an assault on a jogger in another Iowa city and a man who was taking pictures of young girls jogging to see if there are any connections to Tibbetts.

Police searched the Cheney’s property for about two hours and took photos of the interior of the home. They were also searching Cheney’s garage, according to Fox News.

Cheney said investigators kept his cell phone over night to check his records. He told said he has nothing to hide.

Cheney said he doesn’t know Tibbetts’ family. He also said he couldn’t recall what investigators asked him.

"I just thought it was a waste of time but oh well,” Cheney told WHO.

Rob Tibbetts, Mollie’s father, said he hoped the reward will spur people to come forward with information about his daughter.

"I'm thinking she is [alive] somewhere," Rob Tibbetts told Fox News. "I'm thinking someone made a horrible mistake and they don't know what to do."

On Wednesday, Missouri police investigated a possible sighting of Tibbetts.

The Kearney Missouri Police Department responded to a tip and searched the area and interviewed witnesses and looked at surveillance video, according to Sergeant Joe Kantola.

Mollie Tibbetts was last seen when she left her boyfriend’s home to jog on the night of July 18. Police have cleared the boyfriend of wrongdoing, Fox News reported.

Police in Dubuque, Iowa arrested a man accused of assaulting a runner he saw while he was driving.

Greg Langel, 22, told the woman jogger she was beautiful and gave her a yellow flower. However, when the woman refused to give Langel her phone number, he grabbed her by the arm. The woman pulled her arm away and then Langel tried to grab her with both arms and she kicked him, according to KCRG-TV.

Police are looking to see if there any ties to Tibbetts.

Pella Police in Iowa located a man who was accused of taking photos of high-school aged girls jogging. Police interviewed the suspect and were checking out his story, according to the Des Moines Register.

"The Mollie Tibbetts situation has heightened people's awareness," Pella Police Lieutenant Shane Cox said, according to the Des Moines Register. "We don't believe at this point that there is any connection. We are fairly confident in saying the community isn't in any danger."

Please help spread the word about this case.