MONTEZUMA, Iowa (AP) – Investigators looking for an Iowa boy who went missing in May days before his 11th birthday said Thursday they found human remains matching his description in a nearby corn field .
The remains were discovered by a farmer working in a field a few miles outside of Montezuma, where 10-year-old Xavior Harrelson was reported missing on May 27 from the trailer park where he lived.
The farmer called the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office, which responded to the scene, deputy director of the Iowa Criminal Investigations Division, Mitch Mortvedt, told KCCI-TV.
State agents, the Iowa medical examiner and the state anthropologist also responded and confirmed that these were remains, he said.
“It looks like a teenager’s and at that point the clothes we see on stage, even though they’re obviously soiled and stuff, match what we knew Xavior was last wearing,” Mortvedt told the station.
He said authorities were not ready to identify the body as belonging to Xavior, adding that the state medical examiner and anthropologist had “a lot of work ahead of them in the days and weeks to come.”
Authorities said they relayed the news to Xavior’s mother.
The boy’s disappearance from Montezuma, a town of 1,300 people 112.65 kilometers east of Des Moines, baffled investigators and saddened residents for months.
It was another blow to a rural area mourning the 2018 kidnapping and murder of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts, who disappeared about 24.14 kilometers in July 2018 as she was running in her home. Brooklyn hometown.
In fact, the boy’s disappearance came as prosecutors were delivering final arguments in the first degree murder case against Cristhian Bahena-Rivera, a farm worker who allegedly stabbed Tibbetts to death and dumped his body in a cornfield. near. Some investigators who had worked on the Tibbetts case for years left the trial to search for the boy, before jurors returned a guilty verdict.
After the trial, lawyers for Bahena-Rivera tried to raise suspicion whether the two apparent kidnappings were related, but law enforcement rejected this scenario.
So far, no suspect of a person of interest has been named in Xavior’s disappearance.
A 50-year-old man who was a boyfriend of Xavior’s mother has come under scrutiny and jailed on a federal weapons charge, but authorities have not alleged he was involved .
County, state and federal investigators had examined whether the boy had been abducted, fled or had some sort of accident, and had searched several areas of the region in recent months.
Xavior lived with his mother in the Spruce Village trailer park. He was gone on the morning of May 27, and a friend’s mother called authorities later that day to report the boy’s disappearance after speaking with Xavior’s worried mother.
On what would have been his 11th birthday on May 30, hundreds of volunteers and law enforcement officials searched nearby Diamond Lake County park and other areas looking for him.
Xavior had completed his fourth year at Montezuma Primary School on May 21 and left for summer vacation. He was known to ride a bike in the trailer park.
“Xavior is a happy kid who gets along well with his peers and wants to please his teachers,” said one of his teachers, Marie Boulton, in June. “He is always ready to help you, strike up a conversation and offer a smile to anyone he sees.”
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