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Officials: It could take weeks to identify human remains found in Montezuma

Investigators are working to identify human remains found in Montezuma on Thursday.
Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 6:19 AM CDT
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MONTEZUMA, Iowa (KCRG) - Investigators are working to identify the human remains found in Montezuma on Thursday, but they say it could take weeks.

Officials say the remains were found at around 2 p.m. Thursday, by a farmer working in a field off 110th Street and Ewart Road, just four miles northwest of where missing 11-year-old Xavior Harrelson lives.

They said the remains appear to be those of a juvenile, with clothing matching the description of Xavior Harrelson.

Xavior went missing from his home in the Spruce Village Mobile Home park in Montezuma on May 27.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says because the remains that were found have been out in the elements for a “significant amount of time,” and it could take up to six to eight weeks to identify them.

The discovery of the remains came 18-weeks exactly to the day Xavior went missing.

“It appears to be that of an adolescent, and at this time the clothing description, or the clothing that we see on scene, even though it’s obviously soiled and stuff, is consistent with what we knew Xavior to last be wearing,” Iowa DCI Assistant Director Mitch Mortvedt said.

Xavior was last seen wearing a red t-shirt, blue pajama pants, and black high-top shoes.

Shortly after he was reported missing, state and federal investigators joined the search.

They kept in contact with Xavior’s mother, Sarah Harrelson. Friends of the family say Xavior was her caretaker.

Sarah Harrelson first spoke publicly about her son in August, saying she had no idea where he had gone.

Investigators say they did contact Sarah after the remains were found.

She along with many people in Montezuma passed out flyers in an effort to find Xavior.

People also covered Montezuma in Xavior’s favorite color, orange.

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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