Mollie Tibbets case: how to call for help on your smartphone

Mollie Tibbets case: how to call for help on your smartphone
Posted at 3:22 PM, Aug 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-22 16:22:52-04

The case of Mollie Tibbets is raising issues about safety.

Tibbetts vanished while on an evening jog on July 18. Nearly a month later, a man who confessed to pursuing her as she ran on a country road led authorities to the field where a body believed to be hers was buried under corn stalks, officials said Tuesday.

They arrested Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 24, on first-degree murder charges.

Video recorded by a home surveillance system shows the suspect followed Tibbetts on July 18, authorities said.

According to court documents, the suspect said in an interview that when he approached Tibbetts, she pulled out her cell phone and told Rivera she was going to "call the police" and that caused him to get angry.

He said he blacked out and woke up at an intersection in rural Poweshiek County, court documents say.

Rahn said the suspect told investigators he realized he had put the woman in the trunk of his car and when he took her out, he saw blood on the side of her head, the document says. He left the body in a cornfield and covered it with corn leaves, it adds.

Calling for help

Since the investigation revealed Tibbets had her phone with her at the time of her alleged attack, it raises the issue of what others can do with their phone if they find themselves in a similar situation.

Apple has a page with detailed instructions on how to call for help using an iPhone here.

On that website, it includes these instructions for calling emergency services:

Here's how to make the call on iPhone X, iPhone 8, or iPhone 8 Plus: 

  1. Press and hold the side button and one of the Volume buttons until the Emergency SOS slider appears. 
  2. Drag the Emergency SOS slider to call emergency services. If you continue to hold down the side button and Volume button, instead of dragging the slider, a countdown begins and an alert sounds. If you hold down the buttons until the countdown ends, your iPhone automatically calls emergency services.

Here's how to make the call on iPhone 7 or earlier: 

  1. Rapidly press the side button five times. The Emergency SOS slider will appear. 
  2. Drag the Emergency SOS slider to call emergency services.

After the call ends, your iPhone sends your Emergency contacts a text message with your current location, unless you choose to cancel. If Location Services is off, it will temporarily turn on.

If your location changes, your contacts will get an update, and you'll get a notification about 10 minutes later. To stop the updates, tap the status bar and select "Stop Sharing Emergency Location." If you keep sharing, you'll get a reminder to stop every 4 hours for 24 hours.

"Hey Siri, call 9-1-1"

You can also use Siri on your iPhone to call for help. Saying “Hey Siri, dial 9-1-1” will prompt to phone to automatically dial 9-1-1, but you’ll have three seconds to cancel the call before you’re connected to a dispatcher.

The same thing works on an Android phone. Saying “Ok, Google, call 9-1-1” will put your call through to emergency dispatch.

If you’re on the lock screen of either an Android or iPhone, you have the option to dial 9-1-1 by touching the “Emergency” or “Emergency call” button at the bottom of the screen.