Man charged in Tibbetts' death used alias at work: report

Man charged in Tibbetts' death used alias at work: report
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The man charged in connection with the death and kidnapping of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts allegedly worked for years on a dairy farm under the alias John Budd.

The owners of Yarrabee Farms, a prominent GOP family, is facing questions over whether its leadership knew that the man, whose real name is Cristhian Bahena Rivera, was working in the country illegally, according to The Associated Press. The employer declined to comment on Rivera's work identity, the outlet reported.


It was widely reported that Rivera is an immigrant without legal resident status, despite his lawyer's claims that Rivera is in the country legally. 

Three people with knowledge of Rivera's employment history confirmed that he was hired and paid under the name John Budd for the last four years, the AP reported. The unnamed people spoke anonymously because they said they were not authorized to reveal such information while the criminal investigation into Tibbetts's death is ongoing.

The AP reported that farm officials say Rivera presented an out-of-state photo identification and a Social Security number upon being hired in 2014. 

According to its lawyer, the farm followed legal requirements to check his documents, determining "that they appeared genuine on their face and related to the person presenting them," the AP noted.

Tibbetts's body was found last month after she had been missing for more than a month.

She disappeared while jogging in the town of Brooklyn, Iowa. Her cause of death in a preliminary report was listed as a "homicide resulting from multiple sharp force injuries," the Iowa State Medical Examiner told CNN.

Her killing reignited the debate on immigration policies, with the Trump administration seizing on Tibbetts's death to call for stricter immigration laws.

Tibbetts's family has issued calls urging lawmakers not to use her death as a "pawn" in the immigration debate.

In an op-ed penned last week, Tibbetts's father pleaded for his daughter’s name not to be invoked in advocating for stricter immigration policies. 

“I encourage the debate on immigration; there is great merit in its reasonable outcome. But do not appropriate Mollie’s soul in advancing views she believed were profoundly racist,” Rob Tibbetts wrote in the Des Moines Register.