By Vandana Rambaran
A Mexican illegal alien charged with murder in the death of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts worked on a farm owned by a prominent Iowa GOP official for several years before his arrest Tuesday.
Christian Bahena-Rivera, 24, lived in Poweshiek County for four to seven years and was able to lead police to the farm field in Brooklyn, Iowa, where Tibbetts’s body was found, covered in corn stalks, according to the county sheriff’s office Tuesday. He worked on Yarrabee Farms, which is owned by the family of GOP official Craig Lang, who was a former 2018 Republican candidate for state secretary of agriculture, according to reports by the Des Moines Register.
“All of us at Yarrabee Farms are shocked to hear that one of our employees was involved and is charged in this case,” said Dane Lang, a relative of Craig, in a statement Tuesday.
“This individual has worked at our farms for four years, was vetted through the government’s E-Verify system, and was an employee in good standing,” Dane Lang said, adding that the farm has been working with investigators who interviewed several of their employees Monday.
The farm also handed over employee records and information to aid with the investigation, according to Dane’s statement.
“Yarrabee Farms follows all laws related to verifying employees are legal to work in the United States, and we regularly seek outside counsel to ensure we stay up-to-date on employment law matters,” the statement said.
President Donald Trump commented on Tibbetts’s death during a rally in Charleston, West Va., on Tuesday night.
“You saw what happened to that incredible, beautiful young woman. Should’ve never happened. Illegally in our country,” Trump said, rallying for legislative changes in immigration laws.
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