An Iowa man says he may have been the last person to see missing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts before her mysterious disappearance weeks ago from a rural state town.
“I wish I did know more, but I dread that maybe I was the last person to see her,” Devin Riley told ABC’s “Good Morning America” in an interview published Thursday.
Riley said he contacted the Powoshiek County Sheriff’s Office in central Iowa after the 20-year-old college student was reported missing, telling authorities he believed he saw her the night she vanished.
The man said Tibbetts jogged past his house at about 8 p.m. July 18 with her hair in a ponytail.
“I remember her,” Riley said. “She was wearing like a neon pink sports bra with black khaki yoga pants and an armband with her music device, or phone … hair in a ponytail, just jogging like normal, any other day.”
He added that “it would probably be three, four times a week she jogs down the street.”
That night, Riley said, “she jogged down the street, up the hill and there’s just nothing of it until I heard somebody was missing and it really hit me and I haven’t seen that runner since then.”
When Riley made the realization, he called the police with the tip and noted that he was questioned and investigators even searched his home.
“It was pretty terrifying at the beginning because I didn’t know what was going on,” he said. “I panicked and I put my girls in the bathroom, but they were really polite … just did the walk-through and were out in like 10 to 15 minutes.”
The disappearance of Tibbetts struck a chord with Riley.
“It’s gut-wrenching to know I could have my daughter out here and I go inside for a minute and she’s gone. You just do not expect it from a town like this.”
The rising sophomore was last seen jogging through Brooklyn, Iowa — about 70 miles east of Des Moines — on July 18.
She was reported missing the next day when she didn’t show up to her job at a day-care center.
Blake Jack, the brother of Tibbetts’ boyfriend, Dalton Jack, told Fox News on Wednesday that there was no sign of struggle at his brother’s Brooklyn home the day before she vanished.
“She’s small, but she would have done something,” Blake Jack said.
He described the small town of 1,400 as a place where residents are comfortable enough to not lock their doors.
“If something happened while on a run, people — like you see right now — our neighbors are outside and would have heard something,” he said.
Tibbetts’ boyfriend has been ruled out as a suspect in the case.
Meanwhile, a newly released video of Tibbetts shot the day before her disappearance has shed some light on her state that day.
The short clip, which was shared by her fellow camp counselor Jarrett Rose, shows Tibbetts in a good mood, laughing and giggling.
A reward fund for the safe return of Tibbetts has grown to more than $300,000.
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