Family pleads for safe return of missing Port Clinton teenager

Published: Dec. 29, 2019 at 9:11 PM EST
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It's been nine days since Harley Dilly was last seen. And while the search effort for the Port Clinton teen has gone national, his local community gathered together Sunday at a candlelight vigil.

Family, friends, law enforcement, pastors and even strangers held hands in song and prayer -- all hoping Harley will come home.

Harley Dilly's grandpa has a message for his grandson:

"If you're out there and you're hearing this or seeing this we all want you home. Your mom feels, is in the deepest depression you've ever seen. She needs you to lay on her and hug her like you used to. We miss you, son. Come home, please."

Harley's safe return is what about 100 people prayed for at the Lakeview Park in Port Clinton on Sunday evening.

"As we light these candles we hope that Harley sees us. That he hears us and that he knows he has a safe place to return to," a local pastor said.

Area pastors spoke to the crowd about how now is the time to hold on to faith.

"I believe Harley is coming home. Amen. I believe it's going to happen," another pastor said.

The candlelight vigil had a pink theme in honor of Harley's favorite color.

It's now been more than a week since the 14-year-old seemingly vanished.

"I can't imagine. I really can't. It tears me up inside knowing that, you know, if that was my child I would not know what to do, feel," Port Clinton resident Ravin-Tanji Pinkelton said. She helped organize the vigil.

Port Clinton police say there is no evidence Harley was abducted or injured. The search and the investigation are ongoing.

The community is banding together. All are hoping Harley sees their effort and feels their support.

"Come home. Your parents miss you, you know, we are all looking for you. You know you're now part of our family. You're our community. We want you to come home," Dana Deer said. She works at McCarthy's Irish Pub in Port Clinton and helped organize the vigil. Her son goes to school with Harley.

There is a $7,000 reward for information that helps bring Harley home. An anonymous donor, Fisherman's Wharf and Be-You-Tiful Hair and Nail Salon have all pitched in.

If you spot the teen, you're asked to call Port Clinton police right away at 419-734-3121.

Daily press conferences will be held at 3 p.m. by the department until Harley is found.