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Mother of Harley Dilly pleads for his safe return

Posted: 3:58 PM, Jan 03, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-23 11:59:01-05
Harley Dilly

PORT CLINTON, Ohio — The mother of a missing Port Clinton teenager said there are "no words" to describe what she and her family are going through.

"You see everything on TV, you watch all these crime shows and you think, 'Oh, that’s never going to happen.' And they solve it in an hour," Heather Dilly said. "It doesn’t take an hour to find out everything. You have subpoenas, you have warrants. It just, it takes a long time."

Dilly's 14-year-old son, Harley, was last seen on Friday, Dec. 20 between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m., according to Port Clinton police. Dilly has spent the last 14 days waiting for her son to come home safely.

"The scrutiny that comes with it, nobody tells you how you’re going to be bashed and your family," Dilly said. "And the biggest focus is Harley. That’s the biggest thing. You know, everybody can think whatever they want and that’s fine. But he’s out there somewhere, and you know, it’s two weeks and I have to get up every day and look in that room and he’s not there. I have to see his light. I won’t even go sleep in my own bed. I have to go lay on the couch so I can make sure he walks in."

Dilly added, "There’s no words for any of this. I would never want anybody to go through this. I mean, somebody had to have seen something."

Dilly thanked Port Clinton Police Chief Rob Hickman and the other police and investigators involved, saying they check on the family to make sure they are all right.

"I love you, Harley, please come home," Dilly said. "Please, I just…we need you. I don’t believe that you ran, but if you did, just please, this isn’t you."

Dilly urged the community to continue looking for her son and to keep their opinions to themselves.

"You’re entitled to opinions, everybody can have an opinion but it’s just...people are contacting me saying my son’s dead. How do you think that makes me feel?" Dilly said. "Just pray for him and share, and please keep your eyes open. Somebody knows something. I mean, jeez, how can a kid just disappear? Seriously."

Asked when she last saw her son and whether it was that Friday morning, Dilly said, "I didn’t see him, I talked to him. There’s a difference. That’s really all we can say, it’s an open investigation and that’s the biggest thing people are not understanding. We can’t share because we don’t want to jeopardize him."

Dilly said that nobody could understand how her family feels unless they've gone through it themselves. She said her husband has been getting up at 2 a.m. to drive around looking for Harley.

"And it’s like, where do you look? You don’t even know," Dilly said. "That’s what makes it so hard, and that’s what’s making it hard for the police is, where?"

Dilly said that she looked constantly at cars in her neighborhood and at people to see if there was anything strange, since the family has lived there for ten years. She said she hadn't seen anything strange.

"It’s so unreal," Dilly said of the situation. "It really doesn’t make sense, and he’s not that kind of boy. He gets mad, I mean, he’s 14. They get mad, they get a fit, they walk away, they come back after they’ve cooled down. That’s him."

Dilly said she was just waiting for him to come home.

"That’s all we want," Dilly said. "We want him alive."

According to the Port Clinton police Facebook page, the reward for information leading to Harley's safe return had risen to nearly $10,000 as of Friday, Jan. 3.

Port Clinton police are also asking the public to come forward with any surveillance video from Thursday, Dec. 19 between 3 p.m. and midnight, as well as any video from Friday, Dec. 20.

RELATED: Port Clinton police request surveillance footage from residents to help find Harley Dilly