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Root family reacts to Mollie Tibbetts case

Posted at 10:24 PM, Aug 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-22 12:55:20-04

Michelle and Scott Root lost their daughter, Sarah, in 2016 to an undocumented immigrant who was driving drunk and slammed into the back of her car in south Omaha.

When Eswin Mejia posted bond, he left town.

Investigators announced undocumented immigrant Cristhian Bahena Rivera was being charged with first-degree murder for Mollie Tibbetts' death on Tuesday.

"Today, when I found out (Rivera) was illegal, I just broke down in tears again because it brings back so many memories about how preventable this is," Michelle Root said.

After Sarah Root's death, Iowa and Nebraska congressional leaders sponsored Sarah's Law, which would allow the federal government to take custody of anyone in the country illegally who is accused of causing a deadly crime.

The bill remains stalled on Sen. Mitch McConnell's desk. Michelle Root hopes the Tibbetts case will get the bill the attention it deserves.

"We make calls and try to bring it to the floor of the Senate, but maybe now something will be done," she said.

Sarah's father said he hopes justice is served for the Tibbetts family — something he says he feels cheated about in daughter's case.

"I know we were cheated out," he said. "If we put it in other words: You don't want to hear it on camera."