“This is not the result that nobody wanted, but … we have a closure for the family,” Port Clinton police chief Robert Hickman said Tuesday.
Harley, 14, was last seen on December 20 in Port Clinton when he was leaving for school between 6 and 7 a.m., police said.
At least 75 law enforcement agencies have traveled more than 150 acres with helicopters, trained dogs and search and rescue teams, said Port Clinton police.
During another sweep of the area on Monday, authorities concentrated on a vacant summer house that was being renovated.
There were no signs of forced entry into the house, and there was a key safe, Hickman said.
The police entered and discovered a tragic scene.
“Harley’s coat, glasses were discovered on the second floor of the house next to a brick fireplace,” said Hickman.
“We were able to discover what we think is Harley, who was trapped in the fireplace.”
An autopsy was performed on Tuesday to confirm the identity of the body and the cause of death.
“This seems to be an accident,” said the police chief.
“It seems that Harley climbed an antenna tower to the ceiling and entered a chimney. Once in the chimney, Harley’s jacket and glasses were pushed from the chimney, through a chimney, and to the second floor of the house. The chimney was blocked between second and first floor, which caught Harley. ”
It was not clear why the boy could have tried to enter the fireplace.