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

BROOKLYN, Iowa (KGO) -- On Sunday evening, friends of Mollie Tibbetts and her family attended a prayer service at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Piedmont. Twenty-five days have passed since 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts went missing. But ten years have passed, since Mollie and her family left Oakland to live in Iowa.

"Our class had 30 kids, so everyone was like a family, everyone knew each other," said Sam Szuhaj who attended elementary school with Mollie at Corpus Christi School. Hannah Murray was also in her class and said, "She was very inclusive with everyone, just one of the most kind people in the class."

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More than a hundred former classmates, teachers and family friends attended the prayer service lead by Pastor Leo Edgerly. Mollie's friends, who are home from college for the summer, say they've worried about Mollie and prayed for her safe return. "We still care about her and we still are thinking of her and wanting the best for her," said Emilie Naughtan.

Mollie disappeared on July 18th, while on a run near her family's home in Brooklyn, Iowa.

"If we lived in Iowa, we'd be searching the corn fields with her family or making meals for the volunteers, but all we can really do is share on social media, pray and just keep the story going," said Kathleen Boyle who helped coordinate Sunday prayer service. Boyle's son was in Mollie's class and also attended the service and described Mollie as being, "a light in people's lives."

TIMELINE: The disappearance of Mollie Tibbetts

Mollie's mother, Laura Calderwood, spoke to ABC7 by phone tonight from Iowa. She said, "my Corpus family may be half the country away, but they've been very present since we've been searching for Mollie." Calderwood said they attended mass at Corpus Christi every week and that the prayer service and messages from the Bay Area have given her great strength to continue searching for her daughter.

"No matter how little faith you have, you can work miracles and know that there's a whole world out there praying for Mollie."

Mollie's mother is praying that questions about Mollie's whereabouts will be answered at a press conference scheduled for Monday. She also hopes that more than $300,000 in reward money that has been collected by Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa will help lead to more tips that bring Mollie back home safe.

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