With Tuesday’s news that Mollie Tibbetts’ body was found after she was missing for over a month, Iowa Republican elected officials and candidates offered condolences and expressed frustration with the current immigration system.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds offered this heartfelt response:
Today, our state woke up to news. As a mother, I can’t imagine the sorrow felt by the Tibbetts family. We are all suffering over the death of Mollie, knowing that it could have been our own daughter, sister or friend.
I spoke with Mollie’s family and passed on the heartfelt condolences of a grieving state. I shared with them my hope that they can find comfort knowing that God does not leave us to suffer alone. Even in our darkest moments, He will comfort and heal our broken hearts.
I want to recognize and thank our local, state and federal law enforcement community for their coordinated and tireless efforts to find Mollie.
Over the past month, thousands of Iowans searched and prayed for Mollie’s safe return. Now, we are called to come together once again to lift up a grieving family. The search for Mollie is over, but the demand for justice has just begun.
As Iowans, we are heartbroken, and we are angry. We are angry that a broken immigration system allowed a predator like this to live in our community, and we will do all we can bring justice to Mollie’s killer.
U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) offered a joint statement:
We are deeply saddened that this bright, young woman’s life was cut short. Our heart goes out to the family and friends of Mollie Tibbetts. No family should ever have to endure such a tragedy, especially one that could have been prevented. We are thankful for the hard work of Governor Kim Reynolds and federal, state and local law enforcement as they continue to find answers for Mollie’s family and the American public and bring the killer to justice. As Governor Reynolds said, ‘our immigration system allowed a predator like this to live in our community.’ Too many Iowans have been lost at the hands of criminals who broke our immigration laws. We cannot allow these tragedies to continue.
Congressman Rod Blum (R-Iowa) issued the following statement on Wednesday morning:
As a father of six and with my youngest daughter a sophomore in college, my wife Karen and I cannot begin to imagine the pain being experienced by the Tibbetts family after receiving the devastating news about Mollie. Myself, my family, and the entire country mourn with you.
Thank you to the thousands of people across the country who spread the word, donated money, spent time searching, and sent prayers in the efforts to find Mollie. It is now time to point our energy towards bringing Mollie justice and ensuring a tragedy like this does not happen again.
May solace be found in the words of our Lord in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
Dr. Christopher Peters, who is a Republican running for Congress in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, released the following statement:
For the past month, Iowans have prayed for the safe return of Mollie Tibbetts, while volunteers searched and law enforcement officers tracked down every lead. This morning, we learned that Mollie had been found, but not in the manner we had all hoped. This evening, we learned that she had been abducted and murdered by an illegal immigrant.
Some will try to politicize this tragedy, but I believe doing so cheapens the death of this young woman and distracts from the grief we all should feel in some measure with the Tibbetts family. As a father of three sons, I cannot imagine the loss her family and community are facing. Probably like many of you, I have scanned the roadsides as I was driving through Iowa over the past month, hoping I might find Mollie safe. At the same time, I thought about the safety of my wife and our three sons.
Yes, our immigration system is broken, and Congress has failed to fix it. We need to secure our borders, even while recognizing they can never be fully impenetrable. We must also reform our immigration system to encourage legal immigration, so that we can properly vet those coming into our country.
There is much we can and must do. For now, though, we should mourn the loss of Mollie. We should grieve with the Tibbetts family and the people of Brooklyn. We should look after our neighbors and strengthen our communities. Most of all, we should hold our loved ones a bit closer in our hearts tonight.
Congressman David Young (R-Iowa) responded on Twitter:
Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) said the following on Twitter: