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On RAGBRAI, locals spread awareness of Mollie Tibbetts to international cycling crowd

  • 27 July, 2018
  • Linh Ta

SIGOURNEY, Ia. — Along the RAGBRAI route on Thursday, there was one frequent face among the thousands of visitors: Mollie Tibbetts.

The route on Thursday included towns near Tibbetts’ hometown of Brooklyn. She went missing over a week ago, and the investigation and search have drawn notice nationwide.

For volunteers and Iowans searching for her, it was a prime opportunity to spread an image of her face to an international crowd.

“If they see her, we can figure it out,” said Julie Fugenschuh of Des Moines. She placed a poster of Tibbetts in a lobby of a hotel in Newton and planned on sharing flyers as she biked along the route.

The search continues for the University of Iowa student. Authorities say no one has been identified as a suspect in relation to her disappearance.

Tibbetts, an avid runner, was seen running on the night of July 18. She was dog-sitting at the home of her boyfriend and his brother in Brooklyn.

In Montezuma, bikers pedaling into town were greeted by volunteers with free water bottles who were wearing pins with Tibbetts’ picture.

For Marcy James, a RAGBRAI volunteer in Montezuma, Tibbetts’ disappearance comes as a shock.

“We are competitors in sporting events, but in Iowa, you pull together in a time of need,” James said. “At that point, their kids become our kids.”

And just outside Deep River, one of Tibbetts’ classmates from high school sat a stand providing free water and granola bars to cyclists and shared the story about her missing classmate.

“She is so sweet, loving and caring,” said Marissa Keller of Deep River. “Nothing like that has ever happened in this town.”

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