MONTEZUMA, Iowa (AP) — The family of an Iowa college student who had been missing for weeks until her body was found hidden in a cornfield is acknowledging, “Our hearts are broken.”

The family of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts released a statement Wednesday that notes their grief but also thanks “all of those from around the world who have sent their thoughts and prayers for our girl.”

The statement adds, “We know that many of you will join us as we continue to carry Mollie in our hearts forever.”

Tibbetts’ body was found Tuesday and 24-year-old Cristhian Bahena Rivera has been charged with first-degree murder in her death. Tibbetts was last seen July 18.

The Tibbetts family says they need time to grieve in private but emphasized they appreciate the “outpouring of love and support that has been shared in Mollie’s name.”

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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