12:08 PM PDT, June 2, 2021
Xavior Harrelson’s 11th birthday has come and gone since he disappeared from his Iowa mobile home, and authorities are no closer to finding the Montezuma boy.
Xavior was last seen Thursday of last week, at his home in the Spruce Village trailer park, when his disabled mom thought he had gone out to play with his friends, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation’s Mitch Mortvedt said.
“I won’t stop looking for that little boy,” said family friend Samantha Rix, who was the one who called the police about his disappearance last week, according to CBS News. “Just hoping that good news is brought and [he is] returned to us safe. He’s such a happy little boy.”
It’s unclear whether he had gotten lost, was taken, or ran away, Mortvedt said.
“It’s certainly suspicious that he seems to have just disappeared and no one has seen him,” he said, according to The Gazette. “But there is no evidence that is definitively pushing the needle one way or another”
But Marie Bolton, Xavior’s teacher at Montezuma Middle School said she doesn’t believe he would have run away.
“He would often say how he needs to be with mom and help out home and all those things,” Bolten said, according to KCCI. “So that’s why I just feel that, you know, something’s happened out of his control.”
Nathan Borton, a neighbor who lives a few homes away, said it’s unlike Xavior to wander from the trailer park. “I’ve never actually seen him leave the trailer court,” he told KCCI. “He usually goes up and down here and cuts off right before that street up here.”
His birthday, which was on Sunday, May 30, came and went in the time that he disappeared.
Hundreds of volunteers from around the state teamed up with law enforcement officials and spent Memorial Day Weekend searching through open fields and combing through brush in attempt to find the missing boy.
Additionally, dogs, drones and dive teams were deployed to find the boy over the weekend.
The FBI has also joined the search for Xavior as of Wednesday morning.
“At the end of last week, there’s kind of a cold snap. And when it gets down into the 30s, of course, then you’re thinking hypothermia,” Mortvedt said, according to CBS News.
Foul play has not been ruled out in connection with Xavior’s disappearance.
Xavior was last seen wearing blue pajama pants and black high top shoes, the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office said.
A boy’s body had been found in nearby Las Vegas, but authorities confirmed that Xavior’s disappearance is not related.
This is the same Iowa community that attempted to find 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts three years ago, the college student who disappeared while jogging. “To be right back here, you know, working out of the sheriff’s office and in the same communities as we were almost three years ago when Molly disappeared, it’s frightening,” Mortvedt told KCCI.
A jury found Tibbetts’ killer guilty of her murder last week. The first-degree murder conviction carries a maximum penalty of life behind bars.