Who is Xavior Harrelson? FBI joins search for Iowa boy, 11, who went missing 3 days before his birthday
MONTEZUMA, IOWA: The Federal Bureau of Investigation has joined the search for 11-year-old Xavior Harrelson, who disappeared on May 27, 2021, near his home in Montezuma, Iowa. More than 500 volunteers and responders, as well as dogs, drones and dive teams, have searched for Harrelson over the weekend. Law enforcement reached out to the residents to search their own properties and check their surveillance systems for any sign of Harrelson.
Harrelson, 11, was last seen wearing a red t-shirt, blue pajama pants and black high-top shoes, according to a news release. "At the end of last week, there's kind of a cold snap. And when it gets down into the 30s, of course, then you're thinking hypothermia," said Mitch Mortvedt, the assistant director with the division of criminal investigation for the Iowa Department of Public Safety.
"As the days go on, it's increasingly more suspicious and more concerning," he added. Nearly three years ago, the same Iowa community rallied to search for 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts, who was last seen jogging. A farm worker was found guilty of her murder last week. "To be right back here, you know, working out of the sheriff's office and in the same communities as we were almost three years ago when Molly disappeared, it's frightening," Mortvedt said. We earlier reported that farmworker, Cristhian Bahena Rivera, has been found guilty of the murder of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts.
"I won't stop looking for that little boy. Just hoping that good news is brought and [he is] returned to us safe. He's such a happy little boy," said Samantha Rix, a family friend who said she notified police of his disappearance after receiving a worried phone call from the child's mother. Susan Boss, a nearby resident, said that she felt obligated to help however she could because Montezuma was a small, tight-knit community. "This is what we do," she said. "In Iowa when people need others we are going to stand up and be right beside them."
Harrelson who was going to celebrate his birthday on May 29, went missing a few days earlier. Hundreds of people searched the county on his 11th birthday. Teams of 40 boarded buses and made their way to the outskirts of town. Side by side, a sea of yellow vests combed through fields and wooded areas looking for any trace of Xavior. Right now investigators say there isn't an Amber Alert because there's no indication he was abducted.
Law enforcement has searched neighborhoods and other homes in Montezuma, Mortvedt said Sunday, May 30. On Saturday, May 29, they searched Diamond Lake Park. Two dive teams also searched the lake, he said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office at 641-623-2107.