MONTEZUMA, Iowa — A tragic end to a four-month saga: The human remains found in Montezuma in late September have been confirmed to belong to Xavior Harrelson.
Now, neighbors mourn the loss of a young boy who, by all accounts, lit up his community.
"Glad that we got a little bit of closure, but it's really sad and unfortunate that we had to find out this way," said Laila Kercheval, a high school student in Montezuma. "And I know that for some of the elementary kids, it's been really hard on them."
Kevin Kautzer, another Montezuma resident, remembers Xavior's playdates with his daughter, where the two would take bike rides and play Minecraft.
"My daughter still just doesn't say anything about him. But anytime his name is mentioned, gets a sad look on her face," Kautzer said.
With the heartbreaking news made official, residents are working through their grief as best they can, but it's not easy.
"My family, we just go day by day and try to look forward," Kautzer said.
Montezuma is now working to make sure that the community's memory of Xavior doesn't fade.
"I hope that they remember that he was a very fun and playful kid... I just hope that everyone does remember him," Kercheval said.
Law enforcement is still looking for leads in this case. Anyone with information related to Xavior's death is asked to contact the Poweshiek County Sheriff's Office and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.