Funds for Harley Dilly reward will now go towards funeral expenses

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PORT CLINTON, Ohio (WJW)-- Condolences and offers to help the family of 14-year-old Harley Dilly continue to pour into the community, as residents of Port Clinton come to terms with the fact the teenager is not coming home.

Weeks after he vanished after leaving for school, Dilly was discovered deceased in the chimney of a home across the street from his own.

Police on Tuesday said they believe he climbed an antenna tower and attempted to enter the vacant home through a chimney, getting stuck between the first and second floor. His death attributed to asphyxation.

Marc Wolfe, Mmanager of Fisherman's Warf in Port Clinton, was selling T-shirts to help with the effort. He said 100 percent of the money from the sale of the shirts will go toward funeral expenses. Any funds leftover will go to a charitable effort created in Dilly's name

"It seems like the consensus of people on our Facebook page is it seems like they want to start a scholarship in his name so that will be taken care of," Wolfe said.

Nearly $20,000 was donated directly to the police department for the reward. It's expected to also be used to help with funeral expenses with the remainder possibly going to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Among those still willing to help on Wednesday was Gerald St. Bonore, who drove from Toledo to contribute what he could.

"Several years ago, I lost my son for almost three hours. And we don't know what it's like when we go through something like that. And it touched my heart really bad yesterday and that's the reason why I'm here to donate some money," St. Bonore said.

"I have several friends who have lost children tragically, and I think this just hits so close at home again and so that's why I am here , just to help," said Brenda Hensley, of Port Clinton.

Michelle Willoughby ordered a shirt before Dilly was found, but still wanted her contribution to go to help wherever it might be most needed.

"I don't even know if we really have been able to wrap our heads around it quite yet. I mean, it was just literally yesterday morning we found out and its kind of like in a chimney, why?" she asked.

Though there are no concrete plans made just yet, many in the community are also actively considering holding a vigil in the coming days or weeks to help residents of the community.

Wolfe said the outpouring helps him cope with the tragic outcome.

"There's good in this world and that's all."

Continuing coverage of this story here

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