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Brooklyn print shop making products to help find Xavior Harrelson, three years after looking for Mollie Tibbetts

Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 8:19 PM CDT
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BROOKLYN, Iowa (KCRG) - Joy Vanlandschoot, who lives in Brooklyn, remembers authorities searching Brooklyn for Mollie Tibbetts in 2018. Then, Vanlandschoot printed signs, shirts and buttons to build awareness about the missing University of Iowa student.

Three years later, she’s creating the same products for another missing person in Poweshiek County: Xavior Harrelson.

The 11-year-old boy has been missing for one week, as of Thursday. The FBI, which also joined the search for Tibbetts, began assisting local and state law enforcement with the search on Tuesday. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said it’s continuing to re-evaluate its search for Xavior after searching a mile radius from Harrelson’s home in the Spruce Village Mobile Home Park in Montezuma. The Poweshiek County Sherriff’s Office on Wednesday asked for people near Montezuma to hand over surveillance video.

The search on Sunday used nearly 500 people to look through rural areas in Poweshiek County and Diamond Lake Park. 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.

Vandlandschoot, who owns a print shop in Brooklyn, said she hopes her buttons, shirts and flyers can help build awareness.

She said it’s hard to see the pain from any child going missing.

“Just how much heartache you see when somebody goes missing and the attention that really needs to be brought to it,” Vandlanschoot said. “Because face recognition is so huge. Anybody could have the tip out there.”

She said she hopes these products can build more awareness about Xavior and that she’s made these products for other missing people in the past. Vandlanschoot said she can see some similarities between Xavior and Mollie’s personality.

“I’m hearing he was somebody who would help anybody out,” she said. “Just easy going.”

The DCI said the search for Xavior Harrelson is very similar to the search for Mollie Tibbets. However, two key differences are the height of crops and the ways investigators will inform people about the search. The DCI said the low crop height makes it easier to search farm land on the ground and through the air. It also said it will likely perform news conferences when there are more significant developments.

On Thursday, DCI said it’s continuing to re-evaluate its search for Xavior. This will allow agents to look over information for any missing leads, which have occurred since Monday.

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