BROOKLYN, Iowa — While many had their eyes on the trial of 26-year-old Cristhian Bahena Rivera in Scott County, the hometown of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts, Brooklyn, stayed close together to remember their friend.
Friday, a Scott County jury convicted Bahena Rivera of first-degree murder following the seven-day trial.
Even with a guilty verdict, Friday was a difficult day for the town. "Justice for Mollie" signs and blue ribbons lined Jackson Street, all for Tibbetts and her family.
Every person Local 5's Lakyn McGee spoke to had some sort of connection to Tibbetts, being either a family friend or a former high school classmate. All said the verdict is what they wanted.
"Mollie will never be forgotten. She is a beautiful soul. Seeing these ribbons is a sign of Mollie. I know she's looking down on everyone," said Angie Thompson, a family friend. "Her family, and her friends, just like my daughter, I'm not sure what they're going through but being a friend of the family it's been tough knowing what they're going through. It's good to have closure for that and for them to move forward."
Thompson told Local 5 she was texting Tibbett's mom Laura Calderwood right after the verdict. She said the family is happy with the ruling and happy to have some closure.