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Vigil held in Montezuma, hoping for safe return of missing boy

Updated: May. 31, 2021 at 10:45 PM CDT
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MONTEZUMA, Iowa (KCRG) - Xavior Harrelson, the 11-year-old boy missing since Thursday, is on the minds of so many in his hometown of Montezuma, and on Monday night, neighbors, friends, and others came together to pray for his safe return home.

Dozens of people gathered outside of the Poweshiek County Courthouse in Montezuma just before sunset. A few people there said it was all they can do at this point – pray for Xavior, for his family, for new leads to come to investigators, and ultimately, to pray for him to be found alive.

”He is probably the happiest, most joyous person, I mean, that I’ve ever met, adult, kid, everything,” Samantha Rix, the mother of a friend of Xavior’s, said.

Rix said that it’s been hard to stay positive and keep hope, but that they wanted to bring hope to everybody and remind people, especially in Montezuma, that Xavior is still out there.

”It’s close to home. I mean, he’s like my little nephew, you know, and it’s heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking,” Rix said. “It’s hard to find the words for anything. And for the residents of our community, it hurts.”

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is leading the search for Xavior, but they were not out looking for him Monday. Instead, the DCI said they were re-evaluating what information they have to determine their next steps.

Mark Dage, a resident of Montezuma who said he didn’t know Xavior before he went missing, said he felt compelled to join the search effort to help find him. He hopes others do the same when the active search resumes.

“[People] should be out. They should be looking, instead of sitting at home and going, what’s going on, what’s going on. Don’t worry about what’s going on at home,” Dage said. “Come out and be out in the community and try seeing if we can find the boy.”

The DCI said investigators will likely be out searching Tuesday or later this week, and that they’re still holding out hope Xavior will be found alive.

The Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office said Harrelson was last seen at around 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 27. He was last known to be wearing a red t-shirt, blue pajama pants, and black high-top shoes. He has brown hair and blue eyes, and he is about 4′8″ tall and 100 pounds.

Anyone with any information related to Xavior’s disappearance should call the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office at 641-623-2107.

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