Hundreds of volunteers join search for missing Montezuma boy


MONTEZUMA, Iowa (AP) — Several hundred volunteers joined law enforcement officials in searching for a missing 10-year-old Montezuma boy.

Xavior Harrelson was last seen around 11 a.m. Thursday on his bike near his home on the north end of Montezuma.

Mitch Mortvedt with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said areas around the family’s home were being searched Sunday. About 375 volunteers joined 125 law enforcement officers and first responders in the search.

Dena Bear, of Barnes City, is a single mom with two kids in their teens. Her son is related to Rita Janelle Papakee, who went missing in 2015 after leaving a Tama casino, Bear said.

“I couldn’t sleep last night,” Bear said. “This is like a mom’s worst nightmare. So you don’t sleep at night thinking about the mom, thinking about some poor child.”

Bill Ferdinand, 79, drove about 80 miles from Marion with his service dog to help search. He has three adult kids.

“When you’ve raised three children of your own and you haven’t had this problem, you realize how blessed you are,” Ferdinand said. “Certainly you look at the misery that the parents and family and friends are going through in this difficult time.”

When he disappeared, Harrelson was wearing a red shirt and blue pajama pants with black high-top shoes when he disappeared, authorities said. Police and family of the boy said it is out of the ordinary for him to be gone from home overnight with no contact.

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