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Boy Who Vanished on Way to School Found Dead in Chimney

Harley Dilly had been missing 3 weeks
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2020 6:04 PM CST
Boy Who Vanished on Way to School Found Dead in Chimney
Law enforcement officers walk around a vacant house, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, in Port Clinton, Ohio. where the body of Harley Dilly, 14, was found inside the chimney.   (Jeremy Wadsworth/The Blade via AP)

The search for the Ohio boy who went missing on Dec. 20 after heading off to school that morning has come to a tragic end: The body of Harley Dilly, 14, was found Monday night in the chimney of an unoccupied summer home that was in the process of being renovated, People reports. "It appears that Harley climbed an antenna tower to the roof and entered the chimney," Port Clinton Police Department Chief Robert Hickman said at a press conference Tuesday. "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," but the teen himself got stuck in the 9-inch-by-13-inch space.

Foul play is not suspected, and the Ottawa County Coroner says the boy's death appears to have been accidental. Final autopsy results are still pending, but the coroner says the cause of death was compressive asphyxia, which happens when weight or pressure on the body keeps a person from being able to breathe. Police had previously said Dilly's parents had taken away his phone at the time of his disappearance, which may have upset him. "In the past, when [he and his family] have a conflict in the residence, Harley will go away for the night," Hickman had said previously, adding that they weren't initially concerned at having not heard from him since they had his phone. Per 10TV, the vacant home Dilly was found in was across the street from his own home. (Read more Ohio stories.)

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