Lifelong Friend of Mollie Tibbetts Says Mysterious Disappearance Has Community Members on Guard

BROOKLYN, Iowa -- "Me and Mollie were pretty good friends," said 17 year-old Austin Hall, who has known Mollie Tibbetts for most of his life.

"I`ve known Mollie since about first or second grade," said Hall. "When they moved here from California."

By the time the two were in high school together at BGM, they had formed a close bond.

Learning the news that Mollie had gone missing was very tough for Hall to hear.

"Especially with her brother`s in my class, her younger brother," said Hall. "So, I mean, we were obviously really good friends and just with her missing it just obviously takes a toll on everyone and their mental state."

Hall talked about what kind of a person Mollie is.

"She was always happy and smiley and always energetic," said Hall. "She`s a loud person in class. I mean, I had her in one class and she's always raising her hand. Always volunteering, always wants to help and just an overall amazing person."

In a small town community like Brooklyn, Iowa, where friends have life-long relationships and everyone knows your name, outsiders stick out like a sore thumb.

"Even before this happened, everyone, if there`s kind of an outsider, you kinda take a second glance to try to figure out who it is," said Hall.

Which is why Mollie's mysterious vanishing is so puzzling.

"...I mean everyone knows everyone," said Hall. "You drive down the street and wave at everyone you see, because every single person can know each other just by their vehicle. And, when something like this happens, it just kind of throws everyone off and kind of makes everyone question everyone."