It is every parent’s worst nightmare. You spend most of your child’s life saving and planning for college trying to ensure the best future possible. The big day comes and you send the person that means most to you in the world off to school in their first foray into adulthood. Then you get THAT phone call. Your child is missing.
That is the reality facing the parents of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts. Last seen on July 19, the student from the University of Iowa is one of 48 young people who has gone missing in Iowa in the month of July alone, according to a report from the New York Post.
The Post reports – “The seemingly alarming number of missing persons cases has sparked widespread panic on social media and a flood of conspiracy theories as the search intensifies for Mollie Tibbetts, who was last seen July 19.
’40 people have gone missing in Iowa in 10 days. 40. People. How is this possible ?!!!!!!!!!!!?!” posted one person on Facebook, adding: “keep tabs on your friends and family, be aware of everything and everyone around you.’”
Heather Loshaw posted in a local Facebook group – “WTH is going on here?? Be careful out there please.” Loshaw also posted some rather alarming statistics along with an urgent warning, stating – “WTH is going on here?? Be careful out there please Iowa. This is SO scary especially being In the exact state we live in. 40 people have gone missing in the last 10 days. 40! Please refrain from walking alone and make sure you’re staying clear of strangers and aware of your surroundings! This CAN happen to anyone.”
19 boys and 17 girls between the ages of 13-20 went missing within a 10-day period in Iowa.
Don't think it can’t happen to you. It's happening across rural and urban Iowa, especially in towns close to I-80.
Be alert. Stay safe. And if you see something, say something. pic.twitter.com/QHmxFl4kji
— Shannon Kelly (@shankelly3) July 26, 2018
As a result of these posts and many others raising concerns about the number of missing persons statistics since Tibbets disappearance, the Iowa Department of Public Safety has received an abundance of phone calls wondering what in the world is going on.