14-Year-Old Who Vanished on His Way to School Found Dead in a Chimney, Police Believe

Almost a month after Harley Dilly disappeared on his way to school, police believe the Port Clinton, Ohio, boy’s body has been found in a chimney.

“This is not the outcome anyone wanted, but … we have some closure for the family,” Port Clinton Police Chief Robert Hickman said Tuesday.

Harley, 14, was last seen on Dec. 20 in Port Clinton as he left for school between 6 and 7 a.m., police said.

At least 75 law enforcement agencies have scoured more than 150 acres with helicopters, trained dogs and search-and-rescue teams, Port Clinton police said.

During another sweep of the area Monday, authorities zeroed in on a vacant summer home that was undergoing renovation.

There were no signs of forced entry to the house, and there was a lockbox for keys, Hickman said.

Police went in and discovered a tragic scene.

“Harley’s coat, glasses were discovered on the second floor of the house next to a brick chimney,” Hickman said.

“We were then able to discover what we believe to be Harley, who was caught in the chimney.”

Since his disappearance, Hickman has posted daily updates in the search effort on the Department’s official Facebook page. Harley’s photo also became the page’s profile picture.

An autopsy was being performed Tuesday to confirm the body’s identity and the cause of death.

“This appears to be an accident,” the police chief said.

“It appears Harley climbed an antenna tower to the roof and entered a chimney. Once in the chimney, Harley’s jacket and glasses were pushed from the chimney, through a flue, and into the second floor of the house. The chimney was blocked between the second and first floor, which trapped Harley.”

It was not clear why the boy may have tried to enter the chimney.

Epoch Times reporter Julia Mira contributed to this report.

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