The Mollie Tibbetts Tragedy: Were Attack Indicators Present?

The Mollie Tibbetts Tragedy: Were Attack Indicators Present?

The nation has been riveted by the disappearance of Mollie Tibbetts, a college student from Iowa who mysteriously disappeared while jogging in a small, rural community. Cristhian Bahena Rivera, age 24, has been arrested on first-degree murder charges in connection with the case. Although it’s very early to determine what exactly happened, information is starting to trickle in via media reports. Were attack indicators present that could have been processed and acted upon to alter the outcome of this tragedy? Most likely there were multiple.

Here’s what is being reported:

  1. Vicim Wearing Ear Buds
    • Diminished Capacity: Hearing Diminished/Poor Situational Awareness
    • What Allegedly Happened: Perpetrator had possession of victim’s ear buds.
    • What Could Have Happened: Ear phones cause focus lock and poor situational awareness. Remember, perpetrators are looking for distracted victims who are unaware of their surroundings. Do not muffle your senses.
  2. Car Making Several Passes, Following
    • Attack Indicators: Correlation of Movement, Closing of Distance
    • What Allegedly Happened: Victim stays on route alongside road. May or may not have noticed vehicle reappearing.
    • What Could Have Happened: Good situational awareness should have caused notice of the car. Change route, get to a populated area. At least get on phone and let someone know what is happening. Pepper spray should be in hand.
  3. Perpetrator Exits Vehicle & Approaches Victim
    • Attack Indicators: Correlation of Movement, Closing of Distance
    • What Allegedly Happened: Victim approached on foot by the perpetrator.
    • What Could Have Happened: Having a male exit a vehicle and approach a female is out of the norm. As soon as the victim was aware of the situation, she should have been running, screaming and drawing as much attention as possible. Once the perpetrator was allowed to get close the survivability of the incident was greatly diminished.
  4. Victim Displays Cell Phone & Threatens to Call Police if not Left Alone
    • Attack Indicators: Intuition, Unwanted Advances
    • What Allegedly Happened: Victim announced intention to deny the aggressor his actions.
    • What Could Have Happened: One must understand the mindset of an aggressor. They are seeking control in the most violent of manners. As soon as you deny an aggressor control, you better be prepared to fight mercilessly. Do not announce your intention and lose the element of surprise. If the victim was announcing she was going to call police if the perpetrator didn’t leave her alone, her intuition was telling her she was in danger. The police should have been called as soon as the perpetrator excited the vehicle.
  5. Victim Put in Trunk of Car
    • Attack Indicators: Restriction of Movement, Transported to Crime Scene #2
    • What Allegedly Happened: Victim’s body transported to remote location.
    • What Could Have Happened: It hasn’t been reported whether or not the victim was able to fight before being put in the trunk. However, under almost all circumstances you should never get into a car. Even if your life is threatened, do not get into the car. Fight with everything you have. The odds are far too great that you will be transported to crime scene #2 where awful things will happen before you are killed.

Jogging alone is always a risk. However, the risk can be mitigated. We have previously published articles about safety while jogging and using trails. Hopefully we can learn from Molly Tibbetts tragedy and deny aggressors the ability to do harm.

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1 thought on “The Mollie Tibbetts Tragedy: Were Attack Indicators Present?”

  1. It makes me sick to think of and read through this article, however, that doesn’t mean that it’s information that should not be shared. Awareness, information, and training are so important in defending ourselves and staying safe.

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