Mollie Tibbetts sighting: Report turned out not to be missing college student, investigators say

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Thursday, August 2, 2018
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ABC News shares the latest on the search for missing Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts.

KEARNEY, Mo. -- The day after police in Kearney, Missouri shared information about a possible sighting of missing Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts, investigators said it was not her after all.

Investigators had been looking into a report of a woman who looked like Tibbetts at a truck stop more than 200 miles from where she was last seen two weeks ago.

It turned out that report was not substantiated, and investigators have ruled out the possibility that it was Tibbets, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation special agent Mike Krapfl told the Associated Press on Thursday.

The Kearney, Missouri, police department said on Wednesday that they responded to the possible sighting on July 26. Police say someone spotted a woman who they believed looked like Tibbetts at the Pilot Travel Center, according to KCRG. Sgt. Joe Kantola told ABC News that only one individual claims to have seen her.

Kearney is just outside of Kansas City, about a three-and-a-half hour drive from Brooklyn, Iowa. The stop is at the intersection of Interstate 35 and Missouri Highway 92.

When police received the tip, they conducted a search of the area, spoke with witnesses, reviewed any potential surveillance video and then sent a report to the task force investigating Tibbetts' disappearance. Police did not find any surveillance video to confirm the report, according to ABC News.

Tibbetts, a 20-year-old college student, has not been seen since she went for a jog in Brooklyn on July 18.

On Thursday, the reward fund for Tibbetts' safe return had accumulated $172,000.

Investigators and Tibbetts' family are continuing to encourage the public to send any information they might have, however small the detail might seem.

Send in any tips to or call 800-452-1111 or 515-223-1400.