It’s been weeks of mystery for the family and friends for 20-year-old college student Mollie Tibbetts, who vanished from the small town of Brooklyn, Iowa, in mid-July after going out for her regular evening run.
The missing persons case remains the subject of active investigation by local, state and federal authorities, who have so far declined to release much information about their work.
Searches, however, have failed to locate Tibbetts, whose story has garnered international headlines.
“We know that Mollie knows how much we love her and how important she is to her entire family,” her cousin Emily Heaston previously told PEOPLE. “We want her to know that we will never stop looking for her.”
Said Tibbetts’ mom, Laura Calderwood, upon the announcement this week of a $172,000 reward for information leading to her safe recovery:
“We believe Mollie is still alive and if someone abducted her, we are pleading with you to please release her. It is our greatest hope that if someone has her, they will just release her.”
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Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office
Tibbetts is described as 5-foot-3-inches tall,