Investigators are hoping electronic data from a physical activity device will help them find 20-year-old college student Mollie Tibbetts, who vanished last week in Iowa while jogging at night.
The avid runner always wore a Fitbit, which tracks steps and distance traveled, as well as other information. Tibbetts was seen by neighbors near her boyfriend's home on July 18. Her brother had dropped her off in the small town of Brooklyn, where she was dog-sitting for her boyfriend, Dalton Jack, who was out of town on a construction job.
Police have said he is not a suspect.
Federal investigators are helping local law enforcement agencies comb through massive amounts of electronic data obtained from Tibbetts' Fitbit, cellphone and social media accounts.
“We are getting a lot of information back from that process. We are very hopeful with the electronic data we are getting back,” said Mitch Mortvedt, assistant director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, according to the Des Moines Register. “We are relying on the FBI heavily because it’s an ever-changing world in technology."
But as the days pass, Mortvedt said, "it's more and more suspicious to us."
Jack told the Register Tibbetts sent him a Snapchat message on the night she disappeared, which he opened about 10 p.m., he said. The image she posted looked like it had been taken indoors, he said.
Investigators say the missing woman is a creature of habit and they are searching the routes she used for her runs and interviewing residents who lived in those areas.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Poweshiek County Sheriff at 641-623-5679 or at firstname.lastname@example.org