Remains identified as those of Iowa boy missing since May

MONTEZUMA, Iowa (AP) — Remains found in a field in September were those of an Iowa boy who went missing from his home in May, according to the Iowa Medical Examiner’s Office.

The Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post Friday night that the remains were those of Xavior Harrelson, who disappeared from an Iowa trailer park near Montezuma on May 27, just days before his 11th birthday.

The sheriff’s department said it would not immediately release the boy’s cause of death.

Mitch Mortvedt, assistant director of the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation, said Xavior’s death was being investigated as suspicious, the Des Moines Register reported.

A farmer found the remains in a field in September in a field about 4 miles (6 kilometers) from Montezuma, a town of 1,300 people is 70 miles (112 kilometers) east of Des Moines.

Xavior had completed his fourth grade year at Montezuma Elementary School on May 21 and was off for summer break. Hundreds of people helped search for him.

“We will never forget Xavior and his kind heart,” Montezuma Mayor Jacki Bolen told the Register after the confirmation. “The Montezuma community is greatly saddened by the news of Xavior’s passing. We express our deepest sympathy to his family and friends.”

The confirmation of Xavior’s death comes three years after another Poweshiek County resident, Mollie Tibbets, was killed as the 20-year-old University of Iowa student was on a run near her hometown of Brooklyn, 15 miles (24 kilometers) from Montezuma.

Cristhian Bahena Rivera, a farmhand, was convicted of murder in her death.

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