Child missing since before Christmas is found dead in chimney

National News

CLEVELAND, Ohio (CBS Newspath/WOIO) — Harley Dilly, a 14-year-old who went missing Dec. 20, likely died the same day and within six to seven hours after getting stuck in a chimney, according to a source close to the investigation.

Foul play is not suspected, according to Port Clinton Police Chief Robert Hickman, who confirmed Dilly’s death during a press conference Tuesday.

The Ottawa County Coroner’s Office said Dilly’s cause of death is classified as “compressive asphyxia,” an interference with the body’s respiratory system.

A final autopsy report is pending toxicology findings.

“Yesterday afternoon a repeated canvas of the neighborhood led investigators to the house at 507 Fulton Street. The house had been previously checked multiple times,” said Hickman while describing Monday evening’s search of a home across the street from Harley Dilly’s.

Hickman’s explanation made you wonder — if it had been searched, why wasn’t Harley’s body found earlier. The answer was simple, yet may leave you wondering.

“The house was secured, there was no sign of forced entry and it was actually double locked. So nothing led us to believe there was anybody in the house,” the chief said during a press conference.

Earlier released surveillance video showed Harley heading in the direction of the house. Police got a search warrant to enter the locked home and made a shocking discovery.

“Over in the chimney Harley’s jacket and glasses were pushed from the chimney through a flue and into a second floor of the home,” Hickman said.

Harley had entered the chimney by climbing up a tower at the side of the home, according to officials.

The flue is only 9 inches by 13 inches. He got stuck.

Dilly likely died of suffocation within 6 or 7 hours of getting trapped. The home is not an abandoned home. It is a summer home that is rented out, this time of year it is empty but not abandoned.

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