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BROOKLYN, Iowa  —  The employer of Cristhian Rivera, the man charged with the murder of Mollie Tibbetts, says he was hired legally and was in good standing with the company.

Rivera had worked at Yarrabee Farms in Brooklyn for the last four years.  The dairy farm is owned in part by Craig Lang, a prominent Iowa Republican who ran for Secretary of Agriculture this summer and previously lead the Iowa Bureau and the Iowa Board of Regents.  The company released a statement Tuesday confirming that Rivera is an employee who they believe was hired legally.

“First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Mollie Tibbetts. This is a profoundly sad day for our community. All of us at Yarrabee Farms are shocked to hear that one of our employees was involved and is charged in this case.

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. On Monday, the authorities visited our farm and talked to our employees. We have cooperated fully with their investigation.

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. We keep records on all employees and have shared that information with authorities.

We appreciate the hard work of law enforcement officials. We will continue to cooperate with authorities as the investigation moves forward.”