An Iowa farming company said late Tuesday that the man charged in the death of an Iowa college student was a employee in "good standing" who passed a government background check, The Des Moines Register reported.
Yarrabee Farms said in a statement that Cristhian Bahena Rivera, who was charged with the murder of Mollie Tibbetts, worked for the family operation for four years. The family said it was unaware Rivera was an undocumented immigrant, according to The Des Moines Register.
"This individual has worked at our farms for four years, was vetted through the government's E-Verify system, and was an employee in good standing," Yarrabee Farms said. "On Monday, the authorities visited our farm and talked to our employees. We have cooperated fully with their investigation."
The farm added that it regularly seeks outside counsel to ensure it remains up-to-date on employment law, and keeps records on all workers.
The statement referenced E-Verify, which is an online system run by the federal government that allows employers to view the eligibility of its foreign workers. It's not clear how Rivera passed a background check if he was in the country illegally.
Rivera, 24, was charged with murder in connection to the death of Tibbetts, 20, who had been missing for more than a month before authorities discovered her body this week.
Authorities said that Rivera led investigators to Tibbetts’s body, according to The Washington Post.
At a Tuesday rally in West Virginia, President TrumpDonald TrumpSenate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale Crenshaw slams House Freedom Caucus members as 'grifters,' 'performance artists' Senate confirms Biden's nominee to lead Customs and Border Protection MORE seized on the charge to underscore his push for stricter immigration laws.
"You heard about today with the illegal alien coming in, very sadly, from Mexico, and you saw what happened to that incredible, beautiful young woman. Should’ve never happened," Trump said at a rally in Charleston, W.Va.
"We’ve had a huge impact but the laws are so bad," he continued. "The immigration laws are such a disgrace. We’re getting them changed, but we have to get more Republicans."