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Montezuma community shocked by finding of human remains; still hope for Xavior's return

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MONTEZUMA, Iowa (KWWL) -- The close-knit community of Montezuma was suffering from shock Friday, after Thursday's grisly finding of human remains of an adolescent male on farm land outside of Montezuma and clothes consistent with those worn by Xavior Harrelson.

Harrelson has been missing since May 27th, 3 days before his 11th birthday.

Many of the town's people had joined in multiple search parties for Harrelson. For those who knew him, Friday's was particularly difficult.

KWWL spoke with one mother whose children played with Harrelson everyday.

Odessa Kerr lives in the trailer park where Harrelson lived with his mother.

It was there that he was last seen but the neighbors don't recall seeing him leave the park that day.

Kerr's daughter was in the same 4th grade class with Harrelson and her 14-year-old son was particularly close to him.

"I think he is just hanging close with his friends. He was on his phone a lot last night and just hung out in his room. He's pretty devastated. You can tell in his voice, he's not himself. But, we're keeping an eye on him," Kerr said of her son.

Earlier Friday, Montezuma Mayor Jacki Bolen spoke with reporters. There were no new details in the investigation. But, she held back tears as she said the town is holding onto hope.

"Of course, we've all got our feelings and listening to some of the descriptions from the DCI as far as what was at the scene, it did diminish a little bit of hope but until we know for sure, we're gonna leave our signs up," Bolen said.

Harrelson's mother moved out of the trailer park where they used to live.

But, his pictures remain on storefront windows.

It will take weeks for investigators to determine if the human remains found yesterday are indeed those of Xavior Harrelson. Some people in town still have hope and some mothers said they are holding their kids a little tighter today.

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