Harley Dilly is a 14-year-old Port Clinton, Ohio boy and YouTuber who was missing since he left for school on December 20, 2019. However, tragically, on January 14, 2020, police revealed that they located Harley’s body trapped in a chimney across the street from his house. They believe his death was an accident, not foul play.
According to an alert sent out by the Ohio Attorney General’s office and obtained by Heavy.com, “The Statewide Endangered Child Advisory has been cancelled and the child has been recovered.” The Attorney General’s office provided this information:
News5 Cleveland reported that the boy’s body was found after police searched “a vacant home on Fulton Street.”
News5 reported that the coroner and other authorities were at the scene for more than seven hours and that a sledgehammer and bags of evidence were seen at the scene. A red puffy coat like the one Harley was wearing when he disappeared was glimpsed by reporters through the window of the vacant home that authorities searched.
Here’s more video of the house. At about 2:30 a.m. on January 14, an ambulance arrived, and something was taken out of the house. The ambulance then went over to Harley Dilly’s house, and a medic went inside, according to a Fox8 journalist in a live report. The police chief then confirmed that Harley’s body was found caught in a chimney in that home, which is a summer residence owned by another family.
Harley was an avid user of social media, and he posted a slew of Madden gaming videos online, among others, as he sought YouTube stardom; this raised concern early on, as the teenager even posted his phone number with one video. The community banded together, helping search for Harley and raising reward money to assist in finding him. The chief, Rob Hickman, repeatedly asked people to stop sharing rumors.
It appeared that Harley Dilly simply vanished into thin air. The boy’s disappearance was featured on an episode of LivePD, and his mother has posted on Facebook and appeared on television about the case.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Harley Was Caught in the Chimney, With His Jacket & Glasses Nearby, the Police Chief Says
Chief Robert Hickman explained why Harley wasn’t found sooner, saying, “We had no reason to believe anyone was in the house.” That’s because it was dead-bolted and locked. However, on January 13, authorities decided to do yet another canvas of Harley’s neighborhood. This led them to the vacant house.
“It had previously been checked multiple times. There was no evidence of forced entry, there was a lock box, doors were secured,” said Hickman.
The house was then searched. Harley’s coat and glasses were discovered on the second floor of the house next to a brick chimney. “We were then able to discover what we believe to be Harley, who was caught in the chimney. His family was notified early this morning, and this appears to be an accident. At this time, there does not appear to be any foul play expected,” said the emotional police chief.
It appears that Harley climbed an antenna tower to the roof and entered the chimney. Once in the chimney, his belongings were pushed through a flue into the house. He was trapped in the chimney, says the chief. It’s 9 inches by 13 inches inside, he added.
“This is a tragic outcome to the case, and a tough loss to the community,” he said.
Harley’s missing person’s picture is the cover photo of the Port Clinton, Ohio Police Department’s Facebook page. It says that Harley Dilly was born on August 12, 2005 and disappeared on December 20, 2019. He was a white male with brown hair and green eyes, who stands 4 foot 9 inches tall and weighs 100 pounds. He disappeared from Port Clinton, Ohio, and is 14 years old.
When last seen, Harley was wearing the maroon puffer jacket, grey sweatpants, and black tennis shoes.
“He was supposed to go to school that day. He didn’t come home,” said the police chief in a previous press conference. The parents became concerned. He went missing on a Friday; police were notified on that Saturday. The parents felt he had “stayed out all night before,” and when he didn’t come home, they became concerned, about 24 hours later. The chief found out on Facebook that Harley’s mom had posted about her concern. The extensive investigation was started Monday. According to the chief, Harley’s habit was to stay with friends when there were issues in the home.
According to police, Harley “was last seen on December 20th, 2019 in Port Clinton, Ohio, as Harley was leaving for school between the hours of 6:00am and 7:00am but never arrived…Law enforcement is concerned for his safety.” In a press conference, the chief said Harley had complained of feeling sick but was told to go to school.
On January 3, 2020, Pat Adkins, the local school superintendent posted a message to parents that explained that the district was working closely with Port Clinton police to locate missing high school student, Harley Dilly. Counseling was available for those who needed it.
Port Clinton police, in a December 31, 2019 update, said that Harley’s family has “fully cooperated and we have no reason to believe they are involved.” They added, “Our investigators continue to research the records that we have been able to obtain thus far. The investigation is being conducted by federal, state and local law enforcement partners.”
Police asked people to stop spreading rumors. “Please allow the professionals involved in this case to continue to do their job – we are working tirelessly and will continue to do so until Harley is brought home and reunited with his family,” they wrote.
2. Harley’s Dad Is a Garbage Truck Driver & His Mother Urged Him to Come Home in Emotional Television Appearances
Harley’s parents are named Heather and Marcus Dilly. Harley’s mom’s profile picture shows a candle and the hashtag, #comehomeharleydilly. Heather Dilly wrote that she is married to Marcus Dilly. She describes herself as “Daughter, Wife, Mom, Aunt and Mimi…To some a sister, never by blood but always by heart ?”
According to the Sandusky Register, Harley’s mom posted a no longer visible video to Facebook, saying, “You all want to see what I look like when I’m not taking my meds to help? You want to know what it’s like to have a son missing? It hurts. It makes you feel like you can’t go on. But you have to go on. You don’t understand. You seriously don’t know what it feels like.”
Marcus Dilly’s Facebook page says he is a truck driver at Republic Trash Services who is from Cleveland. In 2015, he wrote, “My wife is such a great person. She takes care of everything and everyone and I come home to a clean home and good meal. She deserves hugs kisses and flowers more often. I love you Heather Styndl Dilly.”
Heather Dilly told Cleveland ABC station WEWS. “I mean, somebody had to have seen something. You see everything on TV, you watch all these crime shows and you think, ‘oh, that’s never going to happen.’ And they solve it in an hour. It doesn’t take an hour to find out everything. I love you Harley, please come home. Please, I just … We need you, I don’t believe that you ran, but if you did just please, this isn’t you.”
She added: “The scrutiny that comes with it, nobody tells you how you’re going to be bashed and your family. And the biggest focus is Harley. That’s the biggest thing. You know, everybody can think whatever they want and that’s fine. But he’s out there somewhere, and you know, it’s two weeks and I have to get up every day and look in that room and he’s not there. I have to see his light. I won’t even go sleep in my own bed. I have to go lay on the couch so I can make sure he walks in.”
Asked when she last saw her son, Heather told the TV station, “I didn’t see him, I talked to him,” without explaining further. She said her husband drives around at 2 a.m. looking for the boy.
In 2015, on a separate Facebook page, Heather Dilly wrote, “Due to a back stabbing birch (sic) of a friend…I have come to realize I need to keep my family close…not you fake f*cks. With that being said I will be deleting this face book and starting a new one where all these pics of the last 5 yrs will get deleted… this life as I know it is over and time to focus on my husband, son, furgirl, and myself.”
She wrote that same year, “I am so done with my heart getting broke…I care no more, I want to be left alone…Pain is to real to feel…I’m the problem, so what so you do with a problem you find a solution…Okay…I won’t fight no more.” Heather wrote on Facebook that she met Marcus in 1993.”
In 2015, she also wrote, “Okay. Won’t go into detail but Harley is bored and we’ll boys who are bored get into trouble…” And that same year: “Omg omg omg big surprise for Harley Dilly for his bday…Let’s just say…life is getting much busier…and I love it ❤”
Harley had a Facebook page, but it doesn’t have much on it. A drawing, a picture of a dog, and not much more. He did share the number 01 fashioned out of a Confederate flag and a picture of a video game like scene with the word “crime” drawn on it, but those are old posts.
3. Police Found a Surveillance Camera Image of Harley & They Described Him as Very Particular About Food & Bathing
On LivePD, detective Ronald Timmons of the Port Clinton police department, said authorities were able to obtain a surveillance camera image showing a person they believe to be Harley crossing the street in front of his house at 6:08 in the morning on December 20. That was the last known sighting of Harley.
“He has a very particular schedule. He eats certain foods and bathes sometimes four or five times a day. If he goes to a friend’s house he will go to the house and return to bathe before going to the friend’s house for the rest of the day. He stays around the house fairly often,” Timmons said.
His cell phone was broken at the residence at the time he left, Timmons said on LivePD, but it wasn’t clear what this was based on.
It was 18 degrees when he left in a thin sweatshirt and thin puffy coat. Authorities believe he was going to meet with someone police haven’t identified yet.
Police Chief Rob Hickman previously told ABC13 that his officers were called to the Dilly home in the past but he wouldn’t say why. He also said the boy “does not warm up to people” quickly.
In the past, when there was a conflict in the residence, Harley would leave for the night. That wasn’t rare, the chief said in a press conference.
“We’ve had a couple calls there. Harley was upset over an incident that happened at home. We were involved,” the chief said, without elaborating. He said that happened a month ago.
4. Harley Had a Very Active Social Media Presence That Caused Concern
On LivePD, Detective Timmons confirmed that Harley “does have a big social media presence. He’s on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Reddit, YouTube, Discord, and he likes mobile games, but there was no activity on any of that” since he disappeared.
His most recent video on YouTube, from 2019, was titled, “RIP Harley Dilly YouTube Channel.” In the video, he talks about starting a new YouTube channel and getting rid of his old one after four years. “It’s over. 4 Years ago started the channel and today I buried it );” the video says. His YouTube channel is causing concern, according to Sandusky Register. One video shows him shirtless. It’s called 1st QnA Come And Join Me, and he gives out his phone number in it.
In another video, the newspaper reports, Harley “talks about how he was charged with menacing for setting up a schoolmate into a fight for which he planned to sell tickets so others could watch the other boy get beat up.”
“This is not the end. It’s just a new start to a channel that is going to be bigger than you can imagine,” he says. The YouTube channel has many videos in which he speaks to the camera, vlogs at school, plays Xbox on camera, and so on. One joking video is captioned, “We found a dead body by in abandon rock pile not clickbait at all.” That one is from 2018. In one video from 2018, Harley captioned it “Call Me At (his phone number).”
His new YouTube Channel is filled with gaming videos. “It’s Black Friday so why not stream Madden Mobile?” reads one. “Watch me grind this game oof.” He is streaming Madden NFL games in the videos.
In contrast, his Instagram page has only 2 posts. Both are related to sports. “I am a YouTuber that makes thumbnails and intros for other give me some love on YouTube and hit me with a follow!” the profile reads.
On YouTube, he posted a video about a popular streamer Etika, whose real name is Daniel Desmond Amofah. Amofah had uploaded a video to YouTube entitled “I’m Sorry,” in which he’s walking outside in New York and saying what sounds like to many of fans, a final goodbye. His body was later found in the river. Harley’s video is hashtagged #prayforetika.
Two months ago, Harley commented on a Reddit thread called Madden Mobile youtubers?
Harley wrote on the thread, “Watch me my name is Harley Dilly 2.0.” Another user then wrote, “Hi trash.” He wrote, “How the f*ck you find me?” The other user responded, “I find anyone.” Harley wrote, “Except for me IRL.” The other user wrote, “I’m ready,” to which a second user added, “Y’all need to chill damn ??.” Months later, a person wrote, “Hey this kid went missing 11 days ago.” You can see his Reddit posts here.
5. Thousands of Dollars in Reward Money Was Being Offered for Information Leading to Harley Dilly’s Safe Return & It’s Come From Multiple Businesses, Agencies & People, Demonstrating the Community’s Concern for the Teen
The reward fund for information leading to Harley’s safe return grew to many thousands of dollars. “10,075.00 for information leading to the safe return of HARLEY DILLY,” said police, revealing:
“On Saturday, January 4th, 2020, we received cash in the amount of $250.00 from Dwight D. Ramsdell. On Friday, January 3rd, 2020, we received a check for $500.00 from Firelands Plumbing, LLC. On Thursday, January 2nd, 2020, we received a check for $2,200.00 from RadAir Complete Car Care. On Monday, December 30th, 2019 we received a check for $125.00 from Catawba Island Jewelers. On Saturday, December 28th, 2019 we received a check for $2,000.00 from the owners and employees of Fisherman’s Wharf and BeYoutiful Hair/Nail Salon. On Thursday, December 26th, 2019 we received a check for $1,000.00 from Susan & James Waingrow. We have just been contacted by the Sandusky Co-Founder of Bikers Against Abused And Neglected Children (B.A.A.N.C.), who have graciously committed an additional $2,000.00 to the REWARD regarding information leading to the safe return of HARLEY DILLY… The Port Clinton Police Department along with Ottawa County Prosecutor, James VanEerten is offering a $2,000.00 REWARD for information leading to the safe return of HARLEY DILLY…”
A GoFundMe page titled “Bring Harley Home” has raised more than $5,000. That page reads, “On December 22 our small community woke up to the news no parent ever wants to hear. A child was missing. Harley Dilly is a 14 years old, still a baby in most peoples eyes. An innocent child, suddenly gone. With every day, every hour, every minute that goes by with no answers it gets harder for Harley’s family, friends and loved ones.”
It continues, “We, the staff at Fisherman’s Wharf are reaching out to YOU! Harley and his family need OUR help! It is our hope that YOU will think of Harley as one of your own, and try to think of what it would mean to YOU to have Harley home safely with his family, where he belongs!! Let’s remind Harley’s family that they are not alone in the search to bring him home! EVERY SINGLE CENT COLLECTED will go to the Port Clinton Police Department to aid in the reward fund for Harley Dilly and it is our hope that with enough love and support from all of YOU that we can reach our goal!”
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