How A Digital Footprint May Be Helpful In The Search For Iowa Woman


Thursday marks more than a week since a University of Iowa student was last seen. 

Family, friends, and investigators are still trying to find out where 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts may be. 

“It’s a missing person, my sister actually, we’re just trying to spread the word as much as we can,” Mollie’s brother Scott Tibbetts said. 

Now, law enforcement are hoping technology may be on their side. 

Mollie was last seen on a jog in near Brooklyn in central Iowa. 

Foresnsics experts have requested access to all of Mollie’s social media accounts, including the Fitbit she was wearing. 

“It tracks so many things about you, about the user and that’s what we are hoping to glean from any type of information, from any of these social media apps,” Mitch Mortvedt with Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said. 

So what exactly can these gadgets say about our lives?

We went to an expert to find out. 

It turns out, depending on your location setting, apps may be able to shed light on your whereabouts.

Take for instance an activity tracker. 

In some cases, if you have an app, these gadgets allow you to track your location while you’re using your phone. 

“Basically your phone is a GPS so say you’re going on a run and your activity tracker is tracking you on a run, your phone is basically mapping your route and will transfer all of the data back to your app,” Amy Dancey said. 

While investigators are busy using this kind of data to try and get answers, a Facebook page dedicated to finding her has also been created.

Authorities say that as more time passes without finding her, they increasingly suspect she was abducted.

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