The cousin of murdered college student Mollie Tibbetts is firing back at social media trolls who claim her loved one’s death is a political issue.
On Tuesday night, Samantha Lucas, a second cousin of Tibbetts’s, shared a tweet written by Candace Owens, the communication director of the conservative nonprofit organization Turning Point USA, that read in part, “Leftists boycotted, screamed, and cried when illegal immigrants were temporarily separated from their parents. What will they do for Mollie Tibbetts?”
In response, Lucas tweeted, “Hey, I’m a member of Mollie’s family and we are not so f***ing small-minded that we generalize a whole population based on some bad individuals. Now stop being a f***ing snake and using my cousin’s death as political propaganda. Take her name out of your mouth.” Lucas did not respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment.
TO BE PERFECTLY CLEAR: i’m not a member of Mollie’s immediate family. i am a 2nd cousin but it’s hard to write all that in a tweet. we have a family facebook page where we’ve all been in contact and grieving together. i was only saying we should be able to grieve without politics
— sam (@samlucasss) August 22, 2018
as a member of Mollie’s family, thank you. attn Trumpists: Mollie’s death is not political propaganda to bring up your “build the wall” bullshit. stop. https://t.co/rX52qTzbxT
— sam (@samlucasss) August 22, 2018
Tibbetts, 20, was reported missing from her hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa, one day after she went jogging on July 18, reported People. Federal law enforcement launched a search for the student, who People called a “creature of habit” and “sweet and sunny.”
According to CNN, after viewing surveillance video, police were led to a Mexican man named Cristhian Rivera, a four-year employee at Yarrabee Farms in Brooklyn. Court documents reportedly state that Rivera approached Tibbetts, who threatened to “call the police.” Rivera claimed that he blacked out at that point, woke up at an intersection in Poweshiek County, and “realized he had put the woman in the trunk of his car.” He deposited her body in a cornfield, covering it with leaves; police found a body and Tibbetts’s clothing there. Rivera is charged with first-degree murder.
According to the Des Moines Register, Rivera’s lawyer Allen Richards denies that his client is illegally living in Iowa and claims he was working here legally. However, the Washington Post reports that Rivera is in the U.S. illegally and, according to Yarrabee Farms, provided fake documentation to pass a background check, and that the company failed to properly vet Rivera.
The idea that Tibbetts’s killer was not in the country legally spread on social media, adding tension to the public debate over President Trump’s immigration policies and his pledge to build a wall between the United States and Mexico to curtail crime.
On Tuesday, Trump publicly tied Tibbetts’s death to immigration at a Charleston, W.Va., rally. “You heard about today with the illegal alien coming in very sadly from Mexico,” he said. “And you saw what happened to that incredible beautiful young woman. Should have never happened. Illegally in our country. We’ve had a huge impact but the laws are so bad, the immigration laws are such a disgrace. We’re getting it changed but we have to get more Republicans.”
#BREAKING President Trump commenting on the tragic death of young Mollie Tibbetts at the hands of an illegal immigrant:
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) August 21, 2018
Social media backed Lucas.
Make sure you let her know who the suspect was employed by…her beloved GOPhttps://t.co/gSAI6QEQ2H
— Mintz Truppman P.A. (@mtlawmiami) August 22, 2018
Weird how the right gets up in arms when the left respond to a shooting with calls for better gun control, claiming they're exploiting the deaths for a political agenda.
But then they do exactly that here.
— Micah Faulkner (@MicahFaulkner75) August 22, 2018
Sam, you are completely right. I'm so very sorry for your loss. Using you family member as a political advantage is intrinsically wrong. Immoral and beyond acceptable. It is despicable.
— Robin Sinclair (@RobinSinclair10) August 22, 2018
I yelled at my gf for this exact thing!! It’s about evil people doing evil things. Look no further. I’m so sorry for your family.
— Victoria ♉️🌈 (@Iheartrizzoli) August 22, 2018
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
- Body of Mollie Tibbetts, Missing University of Iowa Student, Found
- Someone Created a New Mollie Tibbetts Facebook Profile and Claims She Ran Away to Be With a Man
- Could Mollie Tibbetts’s abductor be ‘hiding in plain sight’?