BROOKLYN, Iowa -- The town of Brooklyn prides itself on its sense of Americana. "The Community of Flags" flies the colors of all 50 states. But the "Everytown USA" feeling has been shattered by the death of Mollie Tibbetts.
"Why this happened I never in God`s name thought it would happen in Brooklyn, Iowa," longtime resident Marlene Carter says.
Carter lives on 385th Avenue on the northeast edge of Brooklyn. Neighbors say the sight of Mollie Tibbetts running was a familiar one to them. "We used to see her every single day. Sometimes twice a day, but once a day for sure," Carter said.
Authorities say the stretch of road so familiar to Tibbetts is likely where her life ended. Twenty-four-year-old Cristhian Rivera is accused of attacking Mollie while she was running on July 18th. He tells authorities he approached her in his car and she threatened to call police. He then claims he blacked out and the next thing he remembers was taking Mollie out of the trunk of his car and leaving her body in a cornfield outside town.
Residents say the sound of runners footsteps and have slowed down significantly since Mollie went missing. Neighbors say the tragedy will change the town forever.