Iowa Farmer Threatened in Tibbetts Case

A judge has ordered a man charged in the kidnapping and murder of an Iowa college student to be jailed on a $5 million cash-only bond.
Meanwhile the farmer who employed Cristhian Bahena Rivera says he's received death threats. ( Poweshiek Co, Iowa Sheriff's office & Mollie Tibbetts Instagram )

MONTEZUMA, Iowa (AP)  The manager of a dairy farm that employed the man charged with killing an Iowa college student says he has received dozens of threatening phone messages and other contacts in the last 24 hours, including death threats.

Dane Lang, manager of Yarrabee Farms in Brooklyn, Iowa, says one person threatened to kill his dog and another said he would burn down his farm buildings. Lang says, "this is a really scary situation."

Lang says the farm employed Cristhian Bahena Rivera for four years but knew him by a different name, which he did not disclose.

Rivera was charged with first-degree murder in the abduction and death of Mollie Tibbetts. Mollie Tibbetts

Government officials say Rivera was in the country illegally but his defense lawyer says he had the proper papers to work in the U.S.

Lang says the man charged with kidnapping and killing an Iowa college student was a good employee who worked there for four years under a fake name. Lang says Cristhian Bahena Rivera presented an out-of-state government-issued photo identification and a matching social security card when he was hired in 2014. Lang says, "our employee is not who he said he was."

Lang said the farm ran the information through the Social Security Administration's employment verification system and it checked out. He said the farm didn't use the E-Verify system as it asserted in a statement Tuesday night, saying an employee was mistaken.

Lang says he only learned on Tuesday that Rivera was the suspect in the death of Mollie Tibbetts and was shocked. He said that Rivera, whom he knew by a different name that he declined to disclose, continued coming to work after Tibbetts disappeared on July 18 and nobody noticed him acting any differently.

Lang said that Rivera helped take care of the cows on a daily basis, was reliable and got along with his co-workers.

At a hearing Wednesday, Magistrate Judge Diane Crookham-Johnson ordered Rivera to be jailed on a $5 million cash-only bond.

 

Copyright 2018, Associated Press

 
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