Editorial: Always remember Tibbetts, other victims of crime

Published 8:42 pm Thursday, August 23, 2018

In cases such as the abduction and murder of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts, it’s easy to focus on the negative: Who is Christhian Rivera, the 24-year-old man arrested and charged with such a horrendous act? How can someone go through with something so horrible? How did the farm he worked for hire him when he reportedly wasn’t a legal resident?

The questions can go on and on.

Though many are legitimate questions, we encourage people near and far to stop for a while and remember Tibbetts before the political fighting and finger-pointing begins.

Tibbetts, a 20-year-old student who was majoring in psychology, came to be known across the nation after she went missing five weeks ago.

But before she came into the news, Tibbetts was known for her kindness, whether that was through giving others a smile or making a new friend.

Her older brother, Jake Tibbetts, spoke Wednesday at a vigil in Iowa City in his sister’s memory and encouraged people to meet someone they didn’t know before and make a friend.

“You can always attribute that friendship you just made to my sister, and that would mean the world to her,” he said. “Knowing that a thousand people just made a friend tonight in her name.”

Jake Tibbetts said his sister loved everyone and always wanted the best for others.

This is just one example of lessons a victim of a senseless crime has taught her family and the others she came in contact with. There are many more lessons that can be learned if we take the time to find out about victims and honor their memories.

Part of honoring their memories is supporting their families, who are dealing with unimaginable pain and shock that their loved one is no longer with them.

Remember them before posting damaging comments or spreading unnecessary politicizing of their cases.