On May 27, the town of Montezuma, Iowa began the frantic search for Xavior Harrelson after he didn’t return home from a bike ride. Three days into the search, Harrelson’s parents had to celebrate his 11th birthday without him. In the initial days of the investigation, the FBI deployed search teams of every kind in the surrounding area. Helicopters, volunteers on horseback, and on-foot search teams scoured the town for any sign of the child. Unfortunately, they had minimal success.
Thursday, an Iowa farmer reported to police that he found what he believed to be human remains. While working in his cornfields, the farmer called Poweshiek County police at around 2 p.m. Once police arrived at the cornfield, they confirmed that it was the remains of an adolescent.
“It appears to be that of an adolescent and at this time, the clothing that we see on the scene, even though it’s obviously soiled and stuff, is consistent with what we knew Xavior to last be wearing,” Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation assistant director Mitch Mortvedt told KCCI-TV.
While the remains do bear similarities to Xavior Harrelson’s description, authorities are waiting on the results of the autopsy for final confirmation. Once complete, they will also be able to determine the cause of death of the 10-year-old. Mortvedt continued, added that “the State Medical Examiner’s Office and State Anthropologist have a lot of work ahead of them in the days, weeks to come.”
At the time of Harrelson’s disappearance, one of his teachers, Marie Boulton, described him as a helpful and cheery child.
“Xavior is a happy kid who gets along well with his peers and wants to please his teachers,” Boulton said. “He’s always willing to help you out, engage in a conversation, and offers a smile to everyone he sees.”
Xavior Harrelson’s Disappearance Follows Death of Local 20-Year-Old, Molly Tibbets
The town of Montezuma, Iowa only stretches 2.5 miles and holds less than 1,500 people. So, a disappearance like that of Xavior Harrelson’s is quite shocking to residents. Shortly before his disappearance, this town was still mourning the loss of another local. Three years prior, 20-year-old Molly Tibbets went missing. Authorities later found her remains in a cornfield.
While out for a run, Molly Tibbets went missing from her home in Brooklyn, Iowa, just 14 miles from Montezuma. Investigators soon brought in Cristhian Bahena-Rivera, a farmhand who allegedly stabbed and Tibbets and dumped her body. Incidentally, prosecutors in the trial for Bahena-Rivera were delivering closing statements just as news of Xavior Harrelson’s disappearance broke months ago.
Bahena-Rivera’s lawyers have suggested that these two kidnappings were connected. However, Iowa law enforcement has rejected this theory. So far, there are no other leads or persons of interest in Xavior Harrelson’s disappearance.