Maddie Poppe on Mollie Tibbetts: 'It's on my mind constantly'
prayer service in honor of Mollie Tibbetts at St. Patrick Church in Brooklyn The Des Moines Register
OMAHA — Mollie Tibbetts has been on the minds of many across the nation since her body was found in a cornfield, bringing to a devastating close the months-long search for the University of Iowa student.
Iowa's own "American Idol," Maddie Poppe, said she has been thinking about the 20-year-old "constantly" as she traces the country with the "American Idol Live! Tour."
When we sat down Thursday ahead of her show in Omaha, she wanted to know what I knew about the case.
And, like most of us, she wanted to know why Tibbetts' life was extinguished at such a young age.
"It's hard to believe that something that awful would happen so close to home," Poppe, who grew up less than 90 miles from Tibbetts' hometown, told me.
Poppe and Tibbetts' lives mirrored each other in myriad ways. Both were the same age (20), lived in small towns (Brooklyn and Clarksville's populations both hover around 1,500 people) and graduated with small classes (about 40 students in each).
"I've got a younger sister back home that I can't be with, and so it worries me," Poppe said.
Poppe's holding out hope that the Tibbetts family will find comfort in each other and their tight-knit community during this painful time.
American Idol finalist Maddie Poppe of Clarksville, Iowa, visits her hometown to film segments for the finale of the competition. Des Moines Register
In Iowa, "everybody gets behind somebody when something like this happens," she said.
"The family should know that everyone is praying for them and thinking about them."
Poppe and the Top 7 from the most recent season of "American Idol" took the stage at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Orpheum Theater in Omaha. Follow along with Courtney Crowder @courtneycare for the highlights.