Missing 14-year-old Ohio boy’s body found trapped in chimney of empty house

The body of an Ohio teenager who vanished in late December was found trapped inside the chimney of an unoccupied house, authorities said Tuesday.

Police in Port Clinton, Ohio, said Harley Dilly, 14, died after he climbed into the house’s chimney on his own and became trapped in a space of about 9 inches by 13 inches, Chief Robert Hickman said.

“It’s not the outcome we wanted,” Hickman told reporters Tuesday, but, he added, “The family has closure.”

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When searchers on Monday entered the house, which is near the listed address of Harley’s family’s home, they found the boy’s glasses and jacket on the second floor before discovering his remains inside the chimney.

“It appears Harley climbed … to the roof and entered the chimney,” Hickman explained. “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.”

An autopsy will be performed on Tuesday, but there is no evidence of foul play, according to Hickman.

The state Bureau of Criminal Investigation, part of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, issued an advisory at 7:58 a.m. on Tuesday to end the hunt for Dilly, who vanished on his way to school on Dec. 20 in Port Clinton, about 80 miles west of downtown Cleveland.

Harley Dilly.Ohio Attorney General


Dilly’s 26-year-old sister, Ashlyn Dilly, said in a Facebook post that her family has received grim news.

“R.I.H. Harley Dilly and fly high, confirmed by the PD both out there and here in my town” she wrote with seven emojis of a crying face.

Dilly was last spotted going to school on Dec. 20 between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m.

This is a developing story; please refresh for updates.

Mohammed Syed contributed.

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