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Investigators: no connection between Mollie Tibbetts murder, Xavior Harrelson’s disappearance

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 6:28 AM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (WOI) - The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said there is no evidence connecting the disappearance of Xavior Harrelson to the death of Mollie Tibbetts.

Cristhian Bahena Rivera is convicted of murdering 20-year-old Tibbetts back in 2018.

Xavior Harrelson, 11, disappeared from Montezuma nearly two months ago, during Bahena Rivera’s murder trial.

Defense attorneys for Bahena Rivera claimed the timing of Harrelson’s disappearance was not a coincidence.

Assistant Director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Mitch Mortvedt said investigators are open to any possibility regarding Harrelson’s disappearance. However, investigators believe the idea that Harrelson was sex trafficked may be a stretch.

Mortvedt said the only thing in common between the two cases is that both victims lived in Poweshiek County.

“That’s the only thing that we have come up with at this point,” Mortvedt said. “You know, we have nothing to indicate, at this time, that there was anything to do with human trafficking in Xavior’s disappearance.”

The two men named by the defense say they had nothing to do with Tibbett’s murder.

Mortvedt said the DCI does not want to jump to conclusions on whether Harrelson is alive. But he says the investigation remains very active.

A prayer vigil in Montezuma for Xavior Harrelson is planned for Sunday.

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