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Family and friends expand the search for Mollie Tibbetts

DES MOINES - It's been a week since Mollie Tibbetts went missing. 

Family and friends are hitting the streets making sure different parts of the state know Mollie's story. 

"We broke up into groups today to hang up posters for Mollie. We hope if anyone sees anything they'll call the sheriff's office. It's very important to get people to call that number," said Mollie's younger brother Scott Tibbetts. 

Scott and his friends handed out posters in downtown Des Moines. Approaching people on the streets and business owners to get the word out.

"It's a missing person, my sister actually. We're just trying to spread the word as much as we can. If you see anything please call that number," said Tibbetts.

Officials continue sifting through leads. Both the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the FBI have been called in to help with the investigation into Mollie's disappearance.

"We are one week into the investigation. Mollie disappeared last Wednesday evening on July 18th. Ever since then the investigation has been at full speed. We feel pretty confident with the timeline we've put together and the direction of travel she was going when she was on her run," said Mitch Mortvedt with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

Mortvedt says Mollie was dropped off at her boyfriend's home by her older brother Jake at 5:30PM on Wednesday. They now know Mollie went on a run around 7:30-8PM and returned to that home safely.

Forensics experts have requested access to all of Mollie's social media accounts, including the Fitbit she was wearing when she went missing. They just received the data from her Fitbit, but cannot disclose the information they were given. 

"Technology tracks so many things about you, about the user, and that's what we are hoping to glean from any type of information from any types of these social media apps," said Mortvedt. 

Right now they aren't ruling out the possibility that this could be an abduction. 

"We're treating it right now as if it is criminal. We don't want to have to back up the truck later and change the way we've been doing things," said Mortvedt.

While investigators continue their efforts, the family is patiently waiting for any good news to come their way. 

"It's surreal. You don't ever imagine that in your life. Walking by and seeing your sister on a billboard because she is missing. It's also shocking because people are getting the word out and we hope that leads to her coming home soon," said Scott TIbbets.

Officials say they'll continue working day in and day out to bring Mollie home.

"Mollie's just 20-years-old and she's still a child. To try bring peace and resolution and to bring her home hopefully alive is the ultimate goal of anyone who's working this," said Mortvedt.

If you know anything about Mollie's disappearance or have seen anything you're urged to call the Poweshiek Sheriff's Office at 641-623-5679.

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