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East Bay Friends Of Missing Student Mollie Tibbetts Hold Vigil

PIEDMONT (KPIX 5) -- Mollie Tibbetts' old school and church community in Piedmont came together Sunday night to light candles and pray for her safe return.

The 20-year-old college student vanished nearly four weeks ago in Iowa. Tibbetts grew up in Oakland and once attended Corpus Christi Catholic School in Piedmont.

She was last seen on her daily jog July 18th. Tibbetts was believed to be wearing a Fitbit when she disappeared, and authorities are hoping data from it will help them track her down.

"It's kind of a gut wrenching feeling but the most important thing to do is to stay positive," recalled former classmate Shane Boyle.

The college student's former Bay Area classmates grew up with her from kindergarten through third grade, when she moved to Iowa.

Alex Rugg, also a former classmate, told KPIX 5, "She was just always positive, gave out positive vibes, very friendly."

"I remember she was always the nicest sweetest person, she was friends with everyone I know. Everyone's been saying that but it's true," Emilie Naughten said. "I always she was really good at running, she loved running."

The reward for Tibbetts' return has grown to more $300,000. Her family believes she may have been kidnapped.

Tibbetts' father still lives in the East Bay, but she is actively searching for his daughter in Iowa. She was living this summer with her boyfriend, who is not considered a suspect.

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