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20-Year-Old Who Vanished While Jogging Found Dead More Than a Month Later


A grim end to a search that captured national attention.

Twenty-year-old Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts, who disappeared in the middle of July after going for her usual jog around town, was found dead early Tuesday in a field not far from where she vanished, a police source tells PEOPLE.

The source says the body was located in a field in Poweshiek County.

Confirmation is pending but authorities are confident that it belongs to Tibbetts, according to the source.

Additional details about the discovery — a grim end to a search that captured national attention — were not immediately available.

State investigators are holding a news conference Tuesday afternoon about the case, a spokesman says. He declined to comment further to PEOPLE.

Tibbetts, who was set to be a sophomore at the University of Iowa studying psychology, was last seen alive the night of July 18 while running in Brooklyn, in Poweshiek County, where she lived.

RELATED: Investigators Say They Have ‘Solid Timeline’ in Mollie Tibbetts Case

She had been staying with her boyfriend, Dalton Jack, in his older brother Blake Jack’s home and was dog-sitting while the two Jack brothers were out of town.

After she headed out for some exercise, she was spotted in her workout clothes and her boyfriend told ABC News that he opened a Snapchat photo from her later that night, though it is unclear when it was sent.

Then Tibbetts disappeared. Her family reported her missing the next day after she failed to show up for work.

Both Dalton and Blake were cleared as possible suspects early on in the investigation.

Her mom, Laura Calderwood, called the mystery around what happened to her “excruciating.”

“[There are] no words to describe how you feel when you don’t know where or how your child is,” she said in an interview with ABC.

PREVIOUSLY IN THE CASE: 20-Year-Old College Student in Iowa Vanishes on Jog

Rob Tibbetts, Mollie’s father, could not immediately be reached for comment by PEOPLE but he previously spoke candidly about the case — even appealing directly to her possible captor, asking that she be released.

Hundreds of people helped search for Mollie in the days after she disappeared, while local authorities said they remained baffled by what could be the longest such missing-persons case in the county in recent memory.

RELATED: Missing Mollie Tibbetts’ Dad Addresses Possible Abductor — ‘Do Not Escalate This’

A reward fund for information leading to her safe return broke records in Iowa as hundreds of thousands of dollars poured in.

Mollie’s story also attracted wide notice on social media, with celebrities such as Brandon Routh and American Idol‘s Maddie Poppe sharing information about her.

“She really does not have a single enemy — everybody loves Mollie,” friend Alyssa King previously told PEOPLE, describing Mollie as always there when she was needed and “always trying to make people laugh.”

Mollie was set to attend the wedding of her boyfriend’s brother in early August, about two weeks after she went missing.

The discovery of her remains marked an end that her loved ones never hoped to see.

“We know that Mollie knows how much we love her and how important she is to her entire family,” cousin Emily Heaston previously told PEOPLE, adding, “We know Mollie wants to be home.”

This is a breaking news story. Please return for updates.

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