A man who was caught on CCTV taking pictures of young women jogging has handed himself over to police as they continue their desperate search for a student who vanished from a small town last month.
Mollie Tibbetts was last seen jogging on the evening of July 18 in Brooklyn, a small town in Iowa where she had been living over the summer.
Her family reported the 20-year-old missing the next day after she didn’t show up to work.
As dozens of local, state and federal agents searched for Ms Tibbetts, they received footage of a man using a digital camera to snap pictures of high school girls jogging in front of his car on Friday morning.
Investigators shared the footage, which they described as “very creepy”, warning the public to be on the lookout.
“As covertly as he possibly could, took photos of them unbeknownst to them, it seemed to be very creepy,” Pella Police Chief Robert Bokinsky told WHOTV.
Just days later, a man aged in his 30s handed himself into police as a result of the mounting social media pressure.
Pella Police Lieutenant Shane Cox told the Des Moines Register that they didn’t believe the man was linked to the disappearance of Ms Tibbetts.
Dozens of local, state and federal agents are working to determine what happened to the young woman.
The reward for her safe return has now risen to more than $40,000.
Scrutiny over Mollie’s boyfriend unwarranted: Brother
The brother of Mollie’s long-term boyfriend said they have faced unwarranted questioning from strangers over her disappearance.
Blake Jack, 23, said neither he or his brother Dalton (Mollie’s long-time boyfriend) had anything to do with her disappearance, adding that investigators have confirmed their whereabouts on the night she vanished.
Blake, who has been forced to cancel his destination wedding in the Dominican Republic, said: “The people in this community know the truth.”
“We know something had to have happened to her,” he said.
The morning after she disappeared, Tibbetts’ family reported her missing after she didn’t show up to her job at a daycare centre in a nearby town.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Kevin Winker, director of investigative operations for the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said investigators had not drawn any conclusions about what happened to Tibbetts other than that disappearing on her own “is not consistent with her past”.