Iowa DCI: No connection between Mollie Tibbetts & Xavior Harrelson cases

by 24USATVJuly 22, 2021, 2 a.m. 15
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POWESHIEK COUNTY, Iowa (KWWL) -- The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says there is no evidence connecting the disappearance of Xavior Harrelson and the death of Mollie Tibbetts.

In court documents filed earlier this month, defense attorneys for Cristhian Bahena Rivera presented a new theory in the Tibbetts case: that she was killed by two men after being sold into sex trafficking. The defense identified James Lowe, 50, as a local sex trafficker who ran a "trap house" that an inmate, Arne Maki, claimed he saw Tibbetts in before she was killed by two other men under Lowe's orders.

The defense also claimed Lowe is connected to Harrelson's disappearance, alleging Lowe had a relationship with, and for a time, lived with Xavior's mother, Sarah Harrelson.

Assistant Director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Mitch Mortvedt says they have noting to indicate a connection between the two cases, other than the fact both Tibbetts and Harrelson lived in Poweshiek County. Mortvedt adds investigators are looking into any possibility and not shutting the door on anything in terms of Harrelson's disappearance. He says the investigation is still very active.

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