Mollie Tibbetts’s father thanks Latino community for help in search for her
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The father of Mollie Tibbetts, the Iowa college student who was allegedly killed by an undocumented immigrant, thanked the local Hispanic community on Sunday for the support they offered while he searched for his daughter. 

"The Hispanic community are Iowans. They have the same values as Iowans," Rob Tibbetts said while delivering a eulogy for his daughter during her funeral, according to The Des Moines Register.

"As far as I'm concerned, they're Iowans with better food."


Rob Tibbetts made the comments a little over a month after Mollie Tibbetts, 20, went missing. Her body was found on Tuesday, and Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, is charged with murder in her death. 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have said that Rivera was in the U.S. illegally, which has sparked a heated debate about the country's immigration system.

But Mollie Tibbetts's relatives have pushed back against some of the rhetoric. Samantha Lucas, her second cousin, told CNN last week that Tibbetts would not have wanted her death to be “fuel against undocumented immigrants.”

While Rob Tibbetts did not explicitly comment on the issue during the eulogy, he said that the Hispanic community had shown significant compassion to him. 

He said that he ate at a number of Mexican restaurants during the search and that employees were sensitive and endearing, the Register reported. 

He also said it was time "to turn the page" in regards to his daughter's death.  

"We’re at the end of a long ordeal," he said. "But we need to turn toward life — Mollie’s life — because Mollie’s nobody’s victim. Mollie’s my hero."

Many GOP lawmakers, including President TrumpDonald John TrumpActivists highlight Trump ties to foreign autocrats in hotel light display Jose Canseco pitches Trump for chief of staff: ‘Worried about you looking more like a Twinkie everyday’ Dershowitz: Mueller's report will contain 'sins' but no 'impeachable offense' MORE, have seized on Tibbetts's death to advocate for stricter immigration laws. However, Rivera’s attorney, Allen Richards, has denied that his client was in the country illegally.

Richards also called Trump “sad and sorry” for weighing in on the matter and potentially tainting the jury selection process.