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Port Clinton residents holding out hope for Harley Dilly's return

The boy was last seen on Friday, Dec. 20
Posted: 11:00 PM, Dec 28, 2019
Updated: 2020-01-23 12:01:42-05
Harley Dilly

PORT CLINTON, Ohio — Investigators are now offering a $7,000 cash reward for information leading to the whereabouts or safe return of a missing Port Clinton boy.

Harley Dilly was last seen on Friday, Dec. 20.

His small community is now coming together in hopes of bringing him home safely.

“Let’s try to find him and let him know he’s missed and we want him home,” Dana Deer said.

All eyes have been on the Port Clinton community as this story has attracted national attention.

In addition to the “boots on the ground” efforts to find him, one popular pub is organizing a candlelight vigil they hope will encourage the teenager to come home.

“Get the word out. Keep reposting. Keep talking about it. Keep it a hot topic,” Michelle Kodak said. “Don’t let it go to the wayside until we figure out what’s going on, what happened to him or where he’s at and get him back.”

This week, Port Clinton law enforcement officers asked residents there to keep their porch lights on until Dilly is found.

Port Clinton Police Chief Rob Hickman delivered a message from Harley Dilly’s family Saturday afternoon during a press conference.

“Harley, if you hear or read this, please come home. We miss you. Your family misses you. You are not in trouble. We love you.”

McCarthy’s Restaurant and Pub hopes to light the path to Harley’s safe homecoming Sunday, Dec. 29.

“It’s a tough world we live in and it can affect anybody, big city, small city, our tiny little town,” Kodak said. “So yeah, I think people are worried.”

Employees there organized the candlelight vigil they hope will lead to information about where the boy may be, or even better—encourage him to return home.

“Bring him home,” Deer said. “That’s our main goal is to bring him home.”

Deer is a server at McCarthy’s and said as a mother, she hopes the community would rally around her if she found herself in the Dilly family’s situation.

“We just want to get out there and talk to as many people as possible,” Deer said. “Just get his name out there. Really just come together as a community and let’s try to find him.”

The vigil will begin Sunday at 5 p.m. at the Port Clinton City Park on Perry Street.

Organizers are asking volunteers to bring extra candles because they hope hundreds of people will attend and call attention to the search for Harley.

If you have any information regarding Harley’s whereabouts, you’re asked to call Port Clinton authorities at 419-734-3121.

RELATED: Search for missing Port Clinton teen now nationwide