It’s not every day you hear a story that connects the tragic death of a bright young female to a failed background check. The story of Mollie Tibbetts is unfortunately one of those stories. Mollie was found dead in a cornfield following a 39 day investigation into her disappearance. The FBI led the investigation which led to a confession from Christhian Behena Rivera, who would lead authorities to the place he left her body. The tragic loss has left the entire town of Brooklyn, Iowa struck as there has been no motive reported.
Rivera claims that he began following her in his vehicle, and then ran behind her on a back road outside the town. He then “blacked out” and would come to while pulling into a cornfield with a bloody body in his trunk. Rivera worked just under 3 miles away, employed by Yarrabee Farms for over 4 years. According to a statement from Yarrabee Farms, Rivera cleared all necessary background check procedures.
“This individual has worked at our farms for four years, was vetted through the government’s E-Verify system, and was an employee in good standing,” Yarrabee Farms said in the statement. “On Monday, the authorities visited our farm and talked to our employees. We have cooperated fully with their investigation.”
National media outlets covering the story have now begun digging into how her murderer was even allowed to work in the United States, after determining he is in fact, an undocumented illegal immigrant.
E-Verify is the online system put in place by the Federal government, to provide employers information on eligibility to status to work legally in the United States. It checks I-9 records from the Social Security Administration as well as the Department of Homeland Security. ESS works with E-Verify to double check everything we do, but have experience in law enforcement, and know the varying degrees of fact checking across state lines.
So how was it that an illegal immigrant worked for over 4 years in a small town, and cleared the background check system put in place by Yarrabee Farms? Dane Lang, one of the mentioned owners of the farm had this to say in response.
“Yarrabee Farms follows all laws related to verifying employees are legal to work in the United States, and we regularly seek outside counsel to ensure we stay up-to-date on employment law matters,” the statement read. “We keep records on all employees and have shared that information with authorities.”
It remains to be seen how this happened. A detainer was issued for him by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Tuesday. When you hire an employee, you’re hiring someone that will represent your company both in the workplace, and out of it. It’s truly unfortunate to talk about a story which led to the death of an innocent girl, which by all accounts should have never happened.
There are particular intricacies put in place to avoid having individuals that are not legal to work in the country, as well as attention to detail that falls on the responsibility of your background check company. That attention to detail is something that Employment Screening Services is built on. When you put your trust in a team to help cover your background screening process for new hires, you expect them to provide factual and complete results. We can promise you that.
You can learn more about the Mollie Tibbitts Case here, and of course if you have any questions regarding your current background screening process, feel free to give us a call anytime.