MONTEZUMA, Iowa — Nearly three weeks after his disappearance, the search for 11-year-old Xavior Harrelson continues.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said cases of disappearances such as Mollie Tibbetts, Breasia Terrell, and now Xavior Harrelson gain national notoriety due to the push from their communities.
“People come here to the Midwest to Iowa to rural Iowa to raise families because this generally doesn’t happen,” Assistant Director for the Department of Criminal Investigation,” Mortvedt said. “There’s a lot more community involvement in these smaller communities, obviously everybody knows everybody and they take things like this personal.”
The DCI is a requested agency that often works in more rural parts of the state that typically don’t have the same resources as larger cities.
To find Xavior Harrelson, Mortvedt said the DCI has been hyper-focusing on the town of Montezuma where Xavior was last seen, then working outward to other rural areas. This has included holding search parties with up to 150 law enforcement officers and nearly 400 volunteers.
After covering the entire Poweshiek County, the DCI is now using digital media as a tool.
DCI has recently launched a new missing person website with Xavior Harrelson displayed on the homepage.
Mortvedt says within the last few years social media has been a game changer in helping law enforcement find missing children.
“The awareness is a lot more immediate than it used to be and that plays a significant role,” Mortvedt said. “They can’t escape it. So that has been a huge benefit to law enforcement, and to victims as well obviously, that hopefully they are returned or let go, if you will, just because the attention is always there,” Mortvedt said.
If you have any information regarding Xavior Harrelson’s disappearance, contact the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office at 641-623-2107.