PORT CLINTON, Ohio (WTHR) — After weeks of searching for 14-year-old Harley Dilly, police have confirmed his body was found inside the chimney of a vacant home near his family's residence in Port Clinton.
"Yesterday afternoon, a repeated canvass of the neighborhood led investigators to the house at 507 Fulton Street," Port Clinton Police Chief Hickman said at a noon press conference Tuesday. "The house had previously been checked multiple times. There was no evidence of forced entry. The house’s windows were locked and the doors were secured."
Once inside Chief Hickman said investigators found Harley's coat and glasses on the second floor of the house next to a brick chimney.
“We were then able to discover what we believe to be Harley, who was caught in the chimney," Chief Hickman said. "His family was notified early this morning, and this appears to be an accident. At this time, there does not appear to be any foul play expected. No cause of death has been determined."
An autopsy is being conducted this morning by the Lucas County Coroner’s Office.
"It appears Harley climbed an antenna tower to the roof and entered the chimney," Chief Hickman said. "Once in the chimney, Harley’s jacket and glasses were pushed from the chimney through a flue into the second floor of the house. The chimney was blocked between the second and first floor, which trapped Harley. The chimney is approximately 9” by 13” in size. This is a tragic outcome to the case, and a tough loss to the community.”
Chief Hickman expressed repeated gratitude to everybody who helped with search efforts.
“This is not the outcome anyone wanted, but thanks to your help and support we have some closure for the family."
This update comes after the Ohio Attorney General's Office canceled a statewide endangered child advisory for Harley around 8 a.m. The cancellation was announced with the following message: “The child has been recovered. Thank you for your assistance.”
Harley was first reported missing several weeks ago after he was last seen Dec. 20. He disappeared on his way to school.