BROOKLYN, Iowa — The father of the 20-year-old Iowa woman whose body was found in a cornfield last week wants people to remember her by "celebrating something wonderful"-- not by the way she died.
Mollie Tibbets' father, Rob Tibbetts, urged the hundreds of people at his daughter's funeral on Sunday afternoon to remember her passion for life and her desire to help others. Her body was found last Tuesday after a suspect led police to the field where her body had been since July 18.
To highlight his call to celebrate "wonderful" things, Rob Tibbetts recognized a couple who had just married the day before during his eulogy inside the gymnasium at Brooklyn-Guernsey-Malcom High School. Tibbetts graduated from the school in 2017.
"Today, we need to turn the page. 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."
Meantime, a Facebook group, called The Mollie Movement, has been started showing support towards Mollie's family.
#TheMollieMovement was started in Mollie Tibbett's honor. It encourages to print out of screenshot a kindness card and share it with random acts of kindness, according to their Facebook.
People all over the country are reportedly performing these random acts of kindness in Mollie's name.
The team even provides ideas on "how to use your kindness cards" on their Facebook page.
The Mollie Movement Team said Thursday that they were "given the OK to create #TheMollieMovement T-shirt’s. All proceeds from the shirts will be donated for a CSF scholarship to a BGM senior in theater."
In an open letter to Tibbetts’ father, a member of the Mollie Movement Team said "I also know that it “takes a village”. In this case, a village of fathers. Any father across this land worth his salt would shoulder some of this burden for you, were it possible, and I’d be the first to humbly ask to do my part. We are your village, sir, and we stand beside you in this time."
More than 1,000 people filled the gymnasium Sunday for Tibbetts' funeral in the central Iowa city of 1,500 where she grew up. Tibbetts had been staying in Brooklyn during a summer break from her studies at the University of Iowa.
Cristhian Bahena Rivera is charged with first-degree murder in Tibbetts' death. Authorities have said Tibbetts was abducted while running in July, and an autopsy showed that she died from stab wounds.
Rivera is being held in lieu of a $5 million cash-only bond, and he is suspected of being in the United States illegally. He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole, if convicted.