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Suspect in Iowa woman’s slaying was a hardworking farmhand

BROOKLYN, Iowa (AP) – For years, his employer said the young man from Mexico presented himself as a legal U.S. resident and reliable worker at a family dairy farm in small town Iowa.

But now Cristhian Bahena Rivera is accused of illegally living and working in the U.S. on fraudulent documents and of being a predator who kidnapped and killed a beloved young woman.

Rivera appeared in court Wednesday on a first-degree murder charge in the death of 20-year-old college student Mollie Tibbetts. He was ordered jailed on a $ 5 million cash-only bond.

The turn of events stunned the farm family that employed him the last four years. They said even after Tibbetts disappeared on July 18 while out for an evening run in the town of Brooklyn, Iowa, Rivera kept coming to work.

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