Teen who went missing days before Christmas found dead in chimney near home

The body of a Cleveland teenager has been found dead inside the chimney of an empty property just yards across the road from where he lived.

Harley Dilly, 14, went missing on December 20 while walking to school and was discovered dead on Monday after cops probing the case searched a home under construction in Port Clinton, Ohio.

Detectives combing the property for clues discovered Harley's jacket and glasses next to the brick chimney.

When officers looked inside, the saw Harley trapped inside.

Cops believe 4ft 9in, 7st Dilly "climbed an antenna tower to the roof and entered the chimney".

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The teen's belongings appeared to be pushed through a passage on the second floor, however a blockage between the first and second levels "trapped" the youngster.

Authorities used a drone to look inside the chimney and 'were seen removing a portion of the home's wall,' the Beacon Journal reports.

A sledgehammer and multiple bags of evidence were taken out and a coroner was on the scene for several hours.

"The house had previously been checked multiple times … We had no reason to believe anyone was in the house," Police Chief Robert Hickman told reporters when asked why it took so long to find Harley.

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"This is not the outcome anyone wanted."

It is understood that the home where Harley was discovered belongs to another family and had a lockbox and deadbolt.

"There is no evidence of forced entry. There was a lockbox, doors were secured,' the police chief added in a news conference on Tuesday.

"Since there is a lockbox and anyone can go in and out of the house, we went inside to check the house.

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"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."

The teen's sister Ashlyn Dilly, wrote on Facebook: "R.I.H. Harley Dilly and fly high, confirmed by the PD both out there and here in my town."

"At this time, there does not appear to be any foul play expected," the police chief Hickman concluded.

"No cause of death has been determined. An autopsy is being conducted."

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