‘Gut wrenching’: Community mourns as missing teen Harley Dilly dies trapped across the street from his home

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PORT CLINTON, Ohio (WJW) - The Port Clinton community is coming together to mourn the loss of 14-year-old Harley Dilly.

The body of the teen, who had been missing since December 20, was found in the chimney of the home across the street from where he lived with his family.

Harley left for school that morning and was never seen again.

Investigators believe he climbed an antenna tower to the roof, where he got in the chimney.

"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. The chimney is approximately 9 inches by 13 inches in size," Police Chief Robert Hickman said in a press conference.

The Ottawa County Coroner's Office determined Harley Dilly died from compressive asphyxia.

According to the US National Library of Medicine, in compression asphyxia, breathing is "prevented by external pressure on the body."

Harley's disappearance was reported to police just before midnight on December 21.

It is possible that when police learned the teen was missing that he had already died.

The coroner will work determine a time of death.

Grief counselors will be at the school where Harley attended.

Members of the community who had joined the search to find him were devastated.

“I don’t even know what to say anymore, we’re at a loss to think he was just that close,” said Marc Wolfe, who donated money to a reward fund and also searched for Dilly.

“It’s gut wrenching,” said William Powell III, who is on the crisis intervention team.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

Many are donating the money they raised for the reward to find Harley to his funeral costs.

Continuing coverage here.

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