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The FBI has now joined state and local authorities in the frantic search for an Iowa boy who went missing nearly a week ago.
Xavior Harrelson was last seen around 11 a.m. on May 27 in Montezuma, Iowa. Upwards of 500 search and rescue volunteers and responders scoured the vicinity surrounding the boy’s home last weekend. Drones, K-9 units, and dive teams also assisted in the search.
“I won’t stop looking for that little boy,” Samantha Rix, a family friend, told CBS News. “Just hoping that good news is brought and [he is] returned to us safely. He’s such a happy little boy.”
Harrelson vanished shortly before his 11th birthday. Officials were particularly concerned about recent cold weather in the region as the search for the boy entered its second week.
“At the end of last week, there’s kind of a cold snap,” Mitch Mortvedt, assistant director with the division of criminal investigation for the Iowa Department of Public Safety, told the outlet. “And when it gets down into the 30s, of course, then you’re thinking hypothermia... As the days go on, it's increasingly more suspicious and more concerning.”
Authorities have asked the public for assistance in the search.
“We've asked that if you have a surveillance system, whether it's your home or business, let us know as there might be something on there,” Mortvedt also told KCCI.
Xavior was last seen wearing a red T-shirt, black tennis shoes, and blue pajama pants. He’s four feet and eight inches tall and weighs approximately 100 pounds. He has brown hair and blue eyes.
A spokesperson for the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation wasn’t immediately available for comment on Wednesday and the FBI declined to comment further.
“FBI Omaha is assisting the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation and the sheriff’s office in the search for Xavior Harrelson,” Amy Adams, a spokesperson for the FBI, told Oxygen.com. “Without getting into specifics, I can say the FBI is offering our law enforcement partners every resource available."
Montezuma, a small community of nearly 1,400 people, is located about 70 miles west of Des Moines. Mayor Jacki Bolen told KCCI that the situation is "scary and very concerning."
Teachers at Montezuma Middle School said the missing buy has a “huge heart.”
“I didn't sleep much [last week],” Amy Nikkel said. “Just thinking what he would be doing.”
Almost three years ago, jogger Mollie Tibbetts went missing from Brooklyn, Iowa, about 15 miles north of Montezuma. Farm worker Cristhian Bahena Rivera was found guilty of her murder by a jury on Friday.
"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 Mollie disappeared, it's frightening," Mortvedt added.
Anyone with information related to Harrelson’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Poweshiek County Sheriff's Office at 641-623-5679.
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