BROOKLYN – In an interview with ABC on Wednesday, Poweshiek County Sheriff Tom Kriegel said that the missing persons case of Mollie Tibbetts said that Mollie’s boyfriend is not a suspect.
Here’s the transcript of the interview:
ABC: Are you learning anything from the Fitbit data?
Kriegel: We do believe that there is going to be some useful information but not willing to share that.
ABC: I understand that it does collect data about location…is that the kind of info you are looking to obtain?
Kriegel: Well I’m not a computer guy but I think with the cell phones that they wear and in that case it does somehow track that.
The FBI and DCI made those requests, I did not (with Fitbit)
Kriegel: We are getting hundreds of leads each day that are turned into our sheriff’s tipline. We are getting hundreds of tips a day on that and we are trying to check in on all of them.
ABC: New info?
Kriegel: I don’t think today but we have talked to the FBI and DCI today and we are probably going to put out some kind of press release Friday afternoon.
ABC: Other investigative resources being utilized in the country?
Kriegel: There is but I’m not going to get into those specifics.
ABC: Still being characterized as a missing persons case
Kriegel: It is the longest one we have been involved with yet. We usually find our people within a couple of days, its usually just because they have left for a short period of time.
ABC: Reason to believe that it is not missing person and it is abduction?
Kriegel: Well we are worried about that.
Kriegel: The amount of time is way outside of her nature to be gone and not contact family. She always responds to her cell phone messages and that stuff. She’s got a really good family relationship and she would probably respond to the family.
ABC: What can you tell me about the Snapchat?
Kriegel: I don’t have access to that, her boyfriend said that she sent a Snapchat to him and he opened it up around 10m on Wednesday night but that doesn’t mean that is when it was sent.
ABC: Do you believe it was sent that day?
Kriegel: We believe it was, yes
ABC: What about the discussion and the comments and the timeline about where she was and what she was doing that afternoon? Have you been able to construct a timeline of where she was?
Kriegel: Yeah we think we have a reasonable timeline that she was out jogging from 7:30 to quarter to 8.
ABC: What do you know about what she was doing later that evening?
Kriegel: We don’t know anything later than that?
ABC: Do you believe she might have been at home as late as Friday morning?
Kriegel: We honestly don’t know. That was the last time she was sited.
ABC: Is this frustrating for you?
Kriegel: We are trying hard to find Mollie for her family we hope to bring her home safe. It is very frustrating we have hundreds of people who have volunteered for ground searchings. We have a lot of law enforcement here from the FBI to DCI, they bring a lot of assets here and they are working very hard and the fact that we can’t find her is very frustrating. We will keep going until we keep going until we have some sort of resolution.
ABC: Confirmed boyfriend’s alibi?
Kriegel: We have confirmed that. He is not a suspect.
ABC: Do you think that she could have been picked up by someone that she knew?
Kriegel: Anything is possible, we don’t know.
ABC: Surveillance cameras around town or any video that might show her?
Kriegel: We have, we went to all of the businesses that we know have video, we did canvasses of the area where she normally runs and we have asked every resident that we have been able to make contact with if they have video on the front of their houses and there has been a couple of places and wherever, whenever we find out there is video, we’ve gotten copies of that and are looking at it right now
ABC: Over 300 people missing in Iowa right now, what makes Mollie’s case stand out?
Kriegel: Well it stands out because she is a girl from Brooklyn, Iowa and we want to find her. We are going to work hard and naturally our local law enforcement got involved and we are going to do anything we can and we asked for help from the DCI and they asked for help from the FBI and everybody wants to work together to find her. I don’t know if it is signifcant or not you ask for help and people help you, at least here in Iowa.
ABC: Any apps on her phone besides fitbit that you are looking at?
Kriegel: I think (inaudble) on there perhaps some way to track that phone, we have looked at everything.
ABC: Boyfriend not a suspect, his brother for example?
Kriegel: The brothers are not suspects.
ABC: Both brothers are not?
ABC: Still conducting ground searches?
We are still conducting ground searches whenever we have an area that stands out to us that might have some particular interest to us, we are going and searching those areas. So we are searching, we had the Iowa state patrol’s airplane up yesterday flying over search areas and I was able to have one of my friends take me up in one of his aircraft and we searched some areas that we thought might be significant and of course, we didn’t see anything.