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Celebrities Join Search For College Student Who Vanished Without A Trace

Joy Manatt VanLandschoot / Facebook

It's not every day that a missing person case manages to capture the country's imagination.

On average, as many as 50,000 adults in America are missing at any given moment.

But the strange case of Mollie Tibbetts, a college student who vanished last week, has been making headlines across the country.

The Disappearance

Mollie Tibbetts
Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office

Tibbetts, 20, was dog sitting at her boyfriend's home in the tiny town of Brooklyn, Iowa last Wednesday.

Sometime that night, Tibbetts left the home in workout clothes to go jogging.

"She goes for a run every night," her boyfriend Dalton Jack explained. "She likes to go whenever the sun's not down, but it’s starting cool off, like six or seven."

Jack was staying in another part of Iowa for work that night, and last saw his girlfriend on Tuesday.

Mollie Tibbetts
Jack and Tibbetts.Facebook

He said Tibbetts knew Brooklyn, her hometown, "extremely well," and she sent him a message on Snapchat sometime that night.

But since Wednesday, no one has seen or heard from Tibbetts. More than five days later, authorities say they have no idea where she is.

Tibbetts' disappearance has "completely upended" the quiet town of 1,500 people, but her family have been hurt the most.

Mollie Tibbets
Tibbetts (bottom) and her cousins.Emily Heaston

Her mother, Laura Calderwood, said she doesn't have the words "to describe how you feel when you don’t know where or how your child is."

"She really does not have a single enemy — everybody loves Mollie."

Calderwood says her daughter, a sophomore studying sociology at the University of Iowa, was getting ready to move into her first apartment.

Mollie Tibbetts
Jenny Fiebelkorn

Tibbetts was also planning on taking an international trip with her boyfriend in August, to attend his brother's destination wedding.

"As that date gets closer, it’s like closing in on me, because I’m thinking about these two people that are getting married that were also really close to Mollie," Calderwood said.

"[It’s] supposed to be the happiest day of their life."

Everyone from Brooklyn who knows Tibbetts seems to have a positive impression of the cheerful student.

Mollie Tibbetts
Mollie Tibbetts - Facebook

She was a steady churchgoer, a dependable babysitter, and competed on the local track and debate teams.

"She really does not have a single enemy," her close friend Alyssa King said. "Everybody loves Mollie."

Jack describes his girlfriend as "kind, sweet, caring, she'll do anything for everybody."

Mollie Tibbetts
Mollie Tibbetts - Facebook

And Tibbetts' aunt, Kim Calderwood says her niece is a "responsible and conscientious young woman" who knows how to put up a fight.

"She’s strong and sassy and a fighter and stubborn,” Kim said, “she is not a quitter."

"It’s the worst thing… to want to fix something you can't fix."

As the search for Tibbetts stretches on for almost a week, Poweshiek County Sheriff Thomas Kriegel admits his department is being tested.

"We've had missing persons before, but usually we find them the same day or a couple days later," he said. "We never had one this long that I can recall."

Mollie Tibbetts
Missing posters are plastered along downtown Brooklyn.Joy Manatt VanLandschoot - Facebook

"We still haven’t found her and to be honest with you, we don’t know what happened to her."

Still, Kriegel says "everything and everybody" is being considered to explain Tibbetts' disappearance.

"We don’t know if she was abducted or if she’s just gone off for a couple of days to relax with friends. We don’t know."

Tibbetts' cousin, Emily Heaston, revealed investigators are hoping to study the missing student's cell phone and online history for clues.

Mollie Tibbetts
Megan Kriegel - Facebook

"She probably has on her Fitbit because she never takes it off. She uses it for the sleep tracker and for all her runs and everything," Jack said.

"But obviously we've tried just calling her but it's either off or dead so it would go straight to voicemail."

Tibbetts' aunt Kim said the lack of leads is "frustrating" for her family, making them feel "powerless."

"We’re racking our brains, thinking what can we think of to tell the investigators. It’s the worst thing … to want to fix something you can't fix."

The Search Continues

Maddie Poppe - Twitter

As local volunteers coordinate their search using the Finding Mollie Tibbetts Facebook page, celebrities with connections to Iowa have helped spread the word about the missing student.

Workaholics star Adam Devine, Superman Returns star Brandon Routh, and American Idol winner Maddie Poppe have all shared information about Tibbetts on social media.

Brandon Routh - Twitter

Meanwhile, the search continues, but the number of places where Tibbetts could possibly be found are shrinking every day.

Already, volunteers have combed her jogging paths, nearby roads, and ditches.

Kayakers have checked local rivers and helicopters are checking for clues from the sky.

Part of the search is slowed by the large number of corn fields near Brooklyn, where the crop is currently eight feet high.

"It's difficult," said Sheriff Kriegel. "Even the planes flying over have a difficulty looking down in the corn rows."

Mollie Tibbetts
Poweshiek County Sheriff's Department

Anyone with information about Tibbetts is urged to contact the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office at 641-623-5679.

[H/T: People, ABC News, Des Moines Register]

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