Under the shock and outrage of Mollie Tibbett's murder in the small town of Iowa, which the college student from California called home, hundreds of mourners filled high school on a Sunday afternoon to remember life in 20 years and mourned the loss of her radiant smile and her foaming personality.
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A Resurrection Mass for Tibbetts was held at the Brooklyn-Guernsey-Malcom High School in Brooklyn, Iowa. The crowd for the ceremony was so large that dozens more were forced to sit in overflow seats and watch the service on video.
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Tibbet's & # 39; two brothers and cousins served as pallbearers. She was praised by her father Rob Tibbetts, her cousin Morgan Collum and her former high school teacher JR Glenn.
Tibbetts father told the attendees that the best equipped person to help everyone would be his daughter Mollie. He thanked all volunteers and law enforcement agencies for their help and defended the local Hispanic community by saying that he was "thankful" to them.
Father Leo Edgerly of the Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Oakland Piedmont, where the Tibbetts family member and where Mollie had her first communion, said he had reached her mourning parents, Laura and Rob, to let them know that they are in his prayers and in those of the whole church.
"We now know where she is, and although she died tragically, she will never again," Edgerly told the KGO-TV ABC station in San Francisco.
Three days after his sister's body was found in a cornfield, her younger brother Scott, a senior quarterback at BGM High School, led his football team to the season opener against Lisbon, Iowa. Scott Tibbetts and his team mates have dedicated their season to Mollie and wore patches on Friday nights on their jerseys and decals on their helmets with Mollie's initials in a heart with angel wings.
During the 35-24 victory, Scott Tibbetts threw two touchdown passes and ran to the next. After his first TD pass, which was connected to a bomb at the beginning of the first half, Scott pointed to his sister in heaven.
"We talked about the way Mollie lived her life," said Scott's manager Jerod Burns, describing the Des Moines Register's private moment before the kick-off. "She was a hard worker and she lived without remorse, so we told the kids to play tonight, they just leave it on the field and life is too short to be half-hearted."
Burns said Scott Tibbetts informed him the day before the game he wanted to play.
"You have two hours here where you can focus on something else," Burns said as he told his quarterback. You have to lead them, there is no one who can do that. "
Scott Tibbetts is not the only athlete paying tribute to his sister. Runners across the country pay homage to Mollie, calling on people to stand up and demand a world where women can jog freely without feeling insecure.
With the social media hashtag #MilesForMollie runners commit to running without fear and crossing the finish line for Mollie.
Mollie Tibbetts, a second-year student at the University of Iowa, disappeared on July 18 after going out for an evening jog in the rural farming town of Brooklyn. After a massive, 32-day search, the police arrested their alleged murderer, Cristhian Rivera, an undocumented immigrant farm worker who took her to her body.
In an interview, Rivera, 24, told the authorities that he saw Tibbetts running, got out of his car and ran next to her, said Rick Rahn of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.
Rivera, who was charged with first-degree murder, said Tibbetts grabbed her phone and said, "I'll call the police," according to a sworn statement.
The suspect told the authorities that he then panicked, went insane and "blocked" his "memory", and then remembered nothing until he reached a crossroads, according to the affidavit. He said that he then drove to a field entrance and into a grain driveway before he noticed he had Tibbetts in the trunk, the affidavit said.
Rivera said he had gone to fetch the young woman from the trunk and saw blood on the side of her head, according to the affidavit. Rivera then said that he had dragged the college student from his car to a remote part of a cornfield and left it open in maize leaves, the affidavit of the arrest.
An autopsy revealed that Mollie died of "several sharp injuries".
"Our hearts are broken," Mollie's family said last week. "We thank everyone from all over the world who have sent their thoughts and prayers for our girl and we know that many of you will join us as we carry Mollie forever in our hearts."
ABC News & # 39; Janel Klein has contributed to this report