Montezuma community members react to discovery of human remains

Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 6:19 PM CDT
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MONTEZUMA, Iowa (KCRG) - The Montezuma community had mixed reactions Friday night after human remains were found Thursday just northwest of town.

Officials confirmed shortly after that the remains included clothing that matches the description of missing 11-year-old Xavior Harrelson.

Some in the community said they don’t know the family personally, but are concerned that this months-long investigation could end with the confirmation that those remains might be Xavior.

“It’s just scary, I’ve got seven grandkids, you know, and I’m sure they get tired of me because I won’t let them out of my sight now. There’s an 8-year-old and two 10-year-old’s and I just say sorry guys, grandma’s got to know where you’re at,” Kathy Grife, of Montezuma, said.

Jacki Bolen, the Montezuma Mayor, said regardless of the identity, the discovery was shocking.

“I guess, I don’t know, maybe we should have expected something like this, but we were really really hoping for a positive outcome, although we don’t know for sure if this, in fact, was Xavior,” Bolen said.

Bolen said the local schools did not have class today, but school officials posted on social media that counselors were available for grief counseling from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. for any families that wanted their child to talk to someone.

“That will give them a little bit more time to prepare for what’s to come,” Bolen said. “All of our signs are going to remain up in town until we know for sure, and we’re just going to try our best to maintain a little bit of hope.”

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