According to Fox News, the body of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts was found on Aug. 21 in a field located in her hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa. Tibbetts was a University of Iowa student who went out for jog on July 18, the last time she was seen alive. CNN states the police discovered surveillance videos of a car following Tibbetts on her jog. When bringing suspect Cristhian Bahena- Rivera in for questioning, he did not resist, claiming that when he approached Tibbetts she pulled out her phone and threatened to call the police.
In this same line of questioning Rivera states that after Tibbetts disregarded his advances he “blacked out” and when he came to, he was putting a bloodied Tibbetts into his trunk. Investigators found her body in a cornfield, where Rivera told them she would be. CNN also states that her preliminary autopsy report determined her cause of death was a homicide and she died of multiple sharp force injuries. These series of events have left some uneasy, especially when it comes to going out by oneself.
When questioning the Springfield High School girls track coach, Kirby Hale, she said the turn of events was very upsetting and discerning as many people she knows use running as a stress reliever. She then adds that when she went on runs she was never afraid as she had convinced herself it was safer then, or maybe she was just a naive young girl. When questioned about her track athletes, Coach Hale said at this moment her “level of comfortability while they go out and run won’t change unless the athletes express any kind of concern…. the distance coaches have always been good about sending a coach to drive around and meet the athletes at different places on their run, kind of like a checkpoint to makes sure everyone is accounted for.” Considering the actions the coaches take it seems the athletes at Springfield High are in safe hands and under watchful eyes to make sure nothing bad happens to them.
When asking an athlete herself, junior Varsha Iyer, she said that when they are running she almost always feels safe as they are in a group, and only starts to feel slightly nervous if they go to sketchier parts of Springfield. Iyer does not seem too concerned as she knows the precautions coaches take to make sure the athletes are as safe as possible. Most would assume athletes would feel safer if they were to run in a group, so keep that in mind next time you want to go on a jog. Bring a friend or two, as jogging by yourself could result in unwanted attention and leave you in a dangerous situation. It’s possible that if Tibbetts would have brought a friend along, that could have saved her from her untimely fate. Perhaps going out in public is better in numbers than being alone.