Mother says missing Iowa student may be abducted

The Latest Mother says missing Iowa student may be abducted

On July 18, the day she disappeared, Tibbetts' brother dropped her off at her boyfriend's house so she could dog-sit, HLN reported.

"What we're trying to do is shake the tree", said Greg Willey with Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa. "You would do anything to get her back and you would just be desperate for anything to come forward to get her back", he added. Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation special agent Mike Krapfl confirmed Thursday that the reported sighting of Mollie Tibbetts wasn't substantiated and has been ruled out by investigators.

"It is our greatest hope that if someone has her, they will just release her", the emotional mother continued. "I don't know that I have the strength in me, but Mollie is lending me her strength every day, every night".

"You obviously care for Mollie and, if you're holding her, you've made a huge mistake", he said.

The family of a missing University of Iowa student now believes she is being held captive and has increased the reward for her return. He called the fund "another tool in our arsenal", saying his daughter's disappearance will be solved by someone providing information.

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The family also praised law enforcement efforts as well as national and worldwide media coverage that has kept Tibbetts' disappearance in the public consciousness.

Laura Calderwood said Thursday that she believes her daughter, Mollie Tibbetts, is alive and may have been kidnapped. She was last seen wearing dark coloring running shorts, a pink shirt, and running shoes.

Asked Tuesday if investigators had identified any persons of interest, Kevin Winker, director of investigative operations at the Iowa Department of Public Safety, told reporters: "We are pursuing every lead that is available to us".

In an unusual move, she even said the kidnapper could claim the reward money after setting Tibbetts free. "We are deeply appreciative of the partnership with law enforcement and media". Officials continue to search for her.

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