Mollie Tibbetts' Mother's Heartbreak: Family Member Murdered In Cold Blood!

Mollie Tibbetts mother family member murdered before missing iowa student Laura Calderwood
Source: CBS/Instagram

Feb. 25 2019, Updated 11:48 a.m. ET

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Memories of a chilling murder came flooding back to haunt the mother of Mollie Tibbetts after the mysterious disappearance of the spunky Iowa University student.

Before the 20-year-old went missing month ago, Laura Calderwood lived through the shock of having her cousin and his wife murdered during a bank heist, she exclusively tells

Laura said she never thought she would live through another tragedy like the deaths of Danny and Dawn Kriegel, who were forced by Gordon “Butch” Earley to carry out an inside job that lead to the robbery of the Grinnel State Bank in November 1979.

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“They had the keys to the bank,” Laura recalls. “After it was all done, they were never seen again. Their bodies were found six months later.”

Earley was found guilty by a jury on two counts of killing a person in the course of committing a larceny and was sent to prison. Brave Laura says she had to consider whether there was any connection to the disappearance of her daughter on July 18.

Mollie vanished after she left her boyfriend’s home in their hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa, to go for an early evening jog that night.

She declined to say if investigators looking for Mollie had also made the same consideration. However, she did point out, “The person who committed that crime went to prison. No members of that family live in this area at all. It’s been ruled out,” she tells

“Plus, that was a murder,” she adds. “There’s no other crime associated with Molly to my knowledge.”

The family, convinced Mollie is being held against her will and determined to break free from her abductor, is keeping hope alive that she will soon return home.

Mollie Tibbetts
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“She’s just a strong person and a fighter,” says her younger brother Scott, 17. “She’s just not the type to give up.

Local and state investigators, working with the FBI, say they are working tirelessly to find Molly, scouring the rural farmlands around Brooklyn for clues as to where she may be.

Laura, maintaining a smile, says she tries to stay strong to get through the waiting.

“They say usually it’s one day at a time,” she tells “For me it’s actually going one minute at a time.”

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