Friends in Bay Area devastated after body found in search for University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts

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Friends who knew Mollie Tibbetts and her family during their time in the Bay Area are stunned after a body was discovered in connection with the search. (KGO-TV)

A body found in rural Iowa is feared to be that of missing college student Mollie Tibbetts. Here's what friends, who knew the family from their time in the East Bay, had to say about the stunning discovery.

"You know, our family is heartbroken, really heartbroken for the family," said family friend Linda Safir, who had to tell her now college-aged daughter Libby that a body was discovered in connection with the search for her childhood friend.

Safir had just found a picture of the girls over the weekend in their first communion dresses. She was hoping the discovery of the picture was a sign that Mollie was OK.

TIMELINE: Mollie Tibbetts' disappearance
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Here's a look at what we know about the night Mollie Tibbetts disappeared, more than a month before her body was reportedly found.



"It's every parent's nightmare," she said. "So sad, it's so wrong, she had so much to give."

Tibbetts started kindergarten in Piedmont and met some lifelong friends at Corpus Christi Catholic Church. The family moved to Iowa when she was midway through elementary school, but the friendships lasted.

Anne Woods has been in frequent contact with the missing woman's mother since her disappearance. On Tuesday morning, she couldn't believe the news.

RELATED: Mollie Tibbetts: Everything we know about the case

"Having it sink in, is so unbelievable and so crazily surreal," she said.

Woods says the last time she spoke with Tibbetts' mom, Laura, she was still very optimistic, even though her daughter had been missing since July 18.

"She was still really positive and upbeat about it and fact-based saying, 'We are bringing her home,'" said Woods.

RELATED: East Bay friends hold prayer service for missing college student Mollie Tibbetts

Now both mothers say they will support their friend in any way they can.

"That's what kinda breaks your heart - what Laura is going through is what every family or parent or mother can absolutely sympathize and empathize with because it is so terrifying," said Woods.

RELATED: Mollie Tibbetts' father believes she was taken by 'someone who she knows, probably someone who cares about her'

Safir adds, "She had so much going for her so much to look forward to and now all we can do is hold up her memory."

There's no word yet about possible services at Corpus Christi Church but they imagine that there will be something, saying the community really needs it.

Get the latest updates on the disappearance of Mollie Tibbetts here.
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u.s. & worldmissing womancollege studentmollie tibbettsinvestigationbody foundIowaPiedmont
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