UPDATE: Mother says missing Iowa student may be abducted

(AP) - The Latest on the search for a missing Iowa college student:

11:50 a.m.

The mother of a missing Iowa college student is pleading for anyone who may have abducted her daughter to let her go and claim a fast-growing pot of reward money.

Laura Calderwood said Thursday that she believes her daughter, 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts, is alive and may have been kidnapped. She said that it's the family's greatest hope that whoever may have Tibbetts lets her go and claims the "money we have raised for her freedom."

Tibbetts hasn't been seen since July 18, when she went for a run in her small hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa. Investigators have reached no conclusions about why she has disappeared.

Calderwood announced at a news conference that $172,000 and counting had been raised for a new "Bring Mollie Tibbetts Home Safe" reward fund. She said the money would be paid to anyone who provides information to Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa that leads to Tibbetts' safety.

Crime Stoppers is promising to protect the anonymity of tipsters.

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UPDATE: Investigators have ruled out that a woman spotted in Missouri was a woman reported missing in Iowa two weeks ago.

Police in Kearney, Missouri received a report of a woman who looked like Mollie Tibbetts at a truck stop last week.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says they have concluded that the woman spotted was not Tibbetts, KMBC reports.

Investigators reviewed surveillance video and spoke with witnesses before confirming the sighting was unfounded.

The 20-year-old University of Iowa student was reported missing after she did not return from a jog in Brooklyn, Iowa on July 18.

Original story:

Authorities are investigating an unconfirmed sighting of missing Iowa woman Mollie Tibbets.

Kearney, Missoui police responded on July 26 to a possible sighting of Tibbetts, 20, at a truck stop in the area, police told KSFY News affiliate KMBC.

The location is more than 230 miles away from where Tibbetts was last seen.

Officers conducted a search of the area, spoke with witnesses and reviewed any potential surveillance video.

A report was sent to the investigative task force regarding the sighting, Sgt. Joe Kantola told KMBC.

No other additional details of the sighting were released.

Tibbetts was reported missing after she failed to show up for work in Brooklyn, Iowa, a farming community of about 1,500 people where she was living over the summer with her longtime boyfriend.

At a press conference Monday, police released no specific details about new developments in the case but said the search is active.