CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -The Ohio Attorney General’s office released its file on the Harley Dilly case, the 14-year-old Port Clinton young man who went missing in December and was later found dead in a chimney of an unoccupied vacation home.
The report includes a final review of the night Dilly was found, Jan. 13, and several evidence photos taken at the scene.
The home where Dilly was found was across the street from his family’s house and was searched that night as a part of a re canvassing of the neighborhood.
It’s believed Dilly climbed a metal television antenna attached to the home and tried to lower himself down through the chimney.
Police got permission, and keys, from the homeowner to enter as a part of the ongoing search for Dilly.
Once inside officers found a puffy coat on the floor of a second-story bedroom, matching what Dilly was wearing when he disappeared.
Much has been made about the position of the coat in evidence photos by conspiracy theorists who claim Dilly didn’t put himself in the chimney.
“One maroon coat was located hanging on the bedroom door,” the Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s (BCI) report said. “Port Clinton Police advised that they moved the coat from its original location on the floor to verify that the coat potentially belonged to Harley Dilly.”
Investigators were called in after the coat was found and the rest of the evidence was collected.
In that same area on the floor, was a vent cap used to cover a hole in the wall originally used by a wood-burning stove to ventilate smoke to a chimney.
Directly under the hole in the wall where the vent plate belonged, were several other articles of clothing belonging to Dilly and his glasses that investigators said were pushed through the opening.
“A camera was inserted into the hole in an attempt to view the interior of the chimney,” the report stated. “The camera did not produce a high quality image. Investigators reached into the hole to examine the interior of the wall; the agents located the body of Harley Dilly.”
To exhume Dilly’s body, the wall on the opposite side of the bedroom was removed and exposed the brick chimney.
Investigators then removed the bricks to expose the interior of the chimney.
“Dilly was positioned with his head toward the roof of the home and his feet toward the floor of the home," the report said. “Dilly appeared to be standing on the floor of the chimney with his knees slightly bent. His body was facing the storage room (south). Both of his arms were bent at the elbows and both elbows were up near his head. Dilly’s right arm was bent with his hand near his back. His left arm was bent with his hand near his chest.”
After speaking with a member of the Attorney General’s office it is believed Dilly got stuck somewhere near the vent opening.
They believe he was able to push through his coat and clothing through the hole in an attempt to make himself smaller.
Investigators believe it worked.
Dilly was then small enough to slip down another six to seven feet, only to stop where the chimney had been bricked off at the floor.
Dilly’s body was badly decomposed, and many questioned why investigators, or cadaver dogs, didn’t pick up on the smell while searching the area outside of the home.
“The agents did not detect any odor of decomposition while examining the residence,” the report said. “The victim was located during the process of checking the chimney for additional potential items of evidence. Only after the removal of the bricks from the chimney area, were agents able to smell odors consistent with decomposition.”