- Mollie Tibbetts was found dead in a cornfield near her home in Poweshiek County, Iowa, on August 21.
- Cristhian Bahena Rivera, an unauthorised immigrant living in the area, was arrested and charged with her murder. He has pleaded not guilty.
- After Mollie’s death, her mother, Laura Calderwood, took in 17-year-old Ulises Felix, a friend of her teenage son and a child of Mexican immigrants.
- Ulises’ parents fled after political tensions flared in Brooklyn, Iowa when politicians used Mollie’s death to call for tougher immigration laws.
The mother of murdered University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts has taken in the son of Mexican immigrants.
Laura Calderwood took in 17-year-old Ulises Felix, a friend of her teenage son, after the boy’s parents left Brooklyn, Iowa for Illinois after political tensions flared following Mollie’s death, The Washington Post reported in a profile of the family published Friday.
Felix, a friend of Calderwood’s son Scott, wanted to finish high school in the town where he’d lived for more than half of his life.
He moved in with Calderwood after Mollie’s disappearance and murder gained national attention, with politicians including President Donald Trump using her death to rail against illegal immigration.
Felix’s parents, who are from Mexico, worked at Yarrbee Farms alongside the man charged with killing Mollie, Cristhian Bahena Rivera, an unauthorised immigrant.
Bahena Rivera had trained Felix at the farm, and had a daughter with his cousin before they separated, according to the Post.
Calderwood told the Post she took in Ulises after debating what Mollie would have done in the same situation.
Mollie’s father, Rob Tibbetts previously told the Des Moines Register that his daughter “vehemently opposed” anti-immigrant views.
Mollie was found dead on August 21 in a cornfield in Poweshiek County, a month after she disappeared while going for a run.
Bahena Rivera has pleaded not guilty to Mollie’s murder. If he is convicted, he could serve life in prison.
- Read more:
- Ulises’ parents, who are from Mexico, worked alongside the man suspected of murdering Mollie, Cristhian Bahena Rivera – an unauthorised immigrant – at a dairy farm in Brooklyn before they moved.
- Members of a conservative student group apologise to Charlie Kirk, Candace Owens over ‘misunderstanding’ on Mollie Tibbetts event
- Trump and his allies are seizing on Mollie Tibbetts’ murder to crack down on illegal immigration, but data show native-born Americans commit way more violent crimes
- Mollie Tibbetts’ death is being used to push debunked ideas about illegal immigration and violent crime
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