Herley Dilly
Harley Dilly Clinton Police Department

The case of missing teenager Harley Dilly met with a rather ghastly outcome. The coroner alleged that Dilly died of compressive asphyxia—after getting trapped in the chimney of an unoccupied house on Fulton Street, close to where he lived.

Things took a rather eerie turn when Dilly’s body was recovered in the most unexpected circumstance. Police Chief Robert Hickman said though the house remained empty for years, they immediately felt something was amiss when Dilly’s maroon jacket and glasses were spotted. Soon after, investigations began and Dilly’s body was found inside.

Avon, Ohio, residents James and Eloise Schmitz own the residence where the Dilly youth’s body was discovered. Their son, Jim Schmitz spoke to a media outlet on Tuesday and revealed that renovations were afoot, and the house had been unoccupied for years.

Chief Hickman stated that multiple visits to the premise had been made in the recent past; but, a deeper check of the house wasn’t done as it was latched from the outside and bore no signs of forced entry. But, keys were obtained from the Schmitz family for a quick check. Yet, the police chief refused to divulge further details as to what egged them on to return to space.

As soon as the news of Dilly’s demise surfaced on Tuesday morning, the missing person page for the Dilly youth was taken down from the Ohio Attorney General’s web page. Residents and community members woke up to the shocking news after a detailed search was conducted for weeks.

“We have to support them as much as we can. Mom to mom, I’m heartbroken for [Harley’s mother, Heather Dilly]. I can’t imagine going through what she is right now,” said Samantha Horst, a neighbor. “We were all hoping he was found, and he was safe,” Horst added

However, attempts to reach members of the Dilly family met with little success.

Port Clinton First Ward councilman Beth Gillman maintained that the news left her heartbroken but also lauded the department’s handling of the investigation. She was unsure if there would be any type of review of the investigation

Mayor Mike Snider and council president Lisa Sarty remained unavailable to comment. Despite the chaos that followed soon after the news broke; Officials maintained that no foul play has been suspected. It is believed that the 14-year-old climbed an antenna tower outside the home, got onto the home’s roof, and then climbed into the chimney, which led to him getting trapped as the chimney was blocked off between the second and first floors.

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