By Bradford Betz
Published January 14, 2020
Harley Dilly, of Port Clinton, hadn’t been seen since Dec. 20, when he left for school but never arrived, investigators say.
Authorities initially thought Dilly may have run away from home because his family had said he would sometimes spend a night away from home when angry.
Police searched for Dilly for weeks, but with no success, Cleveland’s Fox 8 reported. Volunteers and authorities searched through nearby neighborhoods along Lake Erie with help from K-9 teams and helicopters.
Police also had asked residents to review their home security footage, hoping that might offer clues about what happened.
His body was found Monday evening in the chimney of an empty home across the street from where he lived, Port Clinton Police Chief Robert J. Hickman said. Police had already looked around outside of the house, which had been locked and had no signs of forced entry, Hickman said.
“We had no reason to believe anyone was in the house,” he added.
Investigators found Dilly’s coat and glasses next to a brick chimney on the second floor of the empty home before discovering his body caught in the chimney. It was unclear why Dilly would have gone into the home.
“This appears to be an accident; at this time there does not appear to be any foul play expected,” Hickman said. He added: “It appears Harley climbed an antenna tower to the roof and entered the chimney.”
Authorities have not revealed a cause of death. An autopsy was scheduled later Tuesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.