Montezuma community staying positive as search continues for missing boy

Iowa News

MONTEZUMA, Iowa (WHO-TV)– Police continue to search for clues in the disappearance of an 11-year-old Montezuma boy.

Despite no clear breaks in the search for Xavior Harrelson, the community in Montezuma is rallying together. A vigil Monday night at the Poweshiek County Courthouse aimed to keep the community optimistic.

“It’s devastating and we keep praying for the family,” said Deb Vermeer of Montezuma. “We hope he’s not suffering and that they can find him quickly.”

Allison Wickham is a classmate of Xavior’s. The two just finished the fourth grade together. “He’s funny and nice. He loves learning,” said Allison. “He always makes people smile a lot.”

Xavior was last seen around 11 a.m. last Thursday on his bike near his home on the north end of Montezuma.

Hundreds of volunteers joined law enforcement over weekend in searching for Xavior. The public search came up empty, but it left an uplifting impression. “That’s Iowa for you. All these small towns hang together when one of ours is gone,” said Vermeer.

Storefront windows in Montezuma are a stark reminder of Xavior’s disappearance and may trigger memories for many who saw similar posters when Mollie Tibbetts went missing just 15 miles away in Brooklyn. “We are a small town and with Mollie a few years ago, it’s not just big cities where people go missing,” said Taylor Wickham of Montezuma.

At this time, there are no more scheduled public searches for Xavior. Poweshiek County Emergency Management has received so much support through donations that it no longer needs food or water for search crews. Emergency management asks that you donate any supplies to your local food bank.

Anyone with tips about Xavior’s whereabouts should contact the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office at 641-623-2107.

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