Mollie Tibbetts' Mom Took in the Son of Mexican Immigrants Who Worked with Her Daughter's Accused Killer

The mother of Mollie Tibbetts, the University of Iowa student whose disappearance and murder attracted national attention, made the decision to take in the son of Mexican immigrants who worked with her daughter's accused killer, according to The Washington Post.

Cristhian Bahena Rivera was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the death of Tibbetts in August. This prompted many of his fellow immigrant farm laborers to flee Brooklyn, Iowa — including the parents of 17-year-old Ulises Felix. According to the Post, he wanted to stay and finish school. So Tibbett's younger brother Scott asked his mom, Laura Calderwood, if they could take him in. 

"The nation, it seemed, was directing its anger about Mollie’s death toward Yarrabee Farms, where her alleged killer had worked, deluging it with vitriolic messages. The immigrant families who worked there were fleeing," the Post's report read. "Laura thought of Mollie. She would argue that the farmworkers didn’t deserve this, that they were only trying to earn a living. What would she say about Ulises? Bring him in? Laura thought that his father may be undocumented and worried about attracting unwanted attention, but again, what would Mollie say?"

The family ultimately invited Ulises to stay with them, seemingly rejecting the divisive rhetoric that surrounded Tibbett's case. 

Shortly after Bahena Rivera was arrested, many politicians — including President Trump — cited Tibbett's murder as reason for tougher immigration laws. Calderwood told the Post that Trump never called her, didn't know much about her daughter, but had no problem "using Mollie’s death to try to end immigration policies he now referred to as 'pathetic.' "

Additionally, Tibbetts father, Rob Tibbetts, said that she would have "vehemently opposed" anti-immigrant views like Trump's.