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An Ohio family is pleading for information about their missing 14-year-old son, more than a week after he disappeared while on his way to school.
“I just want him home,” Heather Dilly wrote about her son, Harley Dilly, in an emotional post on Facebook Sunday. “I need him, I love him so much he is my little boy. I miss his hugs and him making me feel better.”
Harley disappeared after leaving for school the morning of Dec. 20 in Port Clinton, according to a post from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
Harley was captured on surveillance footage—wearing a maroon puffy jacket and grey sweatpants—between his home and his school sometime between the hours of 6 a.m. and 7 a.m., according to a post from the Port Clinton Police Department.
“We understand this is a 14 year old child and are exhausting every effort to locate Harley and reunite him with his family,” police said.
Port Clinton Police Chief Rob Hickman said while authorities are still trying to determine what happened to the 14-year-old, police don’t believe he was abducted and said the teen does not have a history of running away, local station WNWO reports.
In a post on social media, Hickman said the department also has no information suggesting he was injured.
Authorities have searched more than 150 acres in the Port Clinton area in the days since the teen disappeared, NBC News reports.
On Sunday night, family, friends, law enforcement officers, and community members joined together for a candlelight vigil. Harley Dilly’s grandfather was among those in attendance, according to local station WTVG reports.
"If you're out there and you're hearing this or seeing this, we all want you home,” he said. “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."
Heather Dilly said in her Facebook post Sunday that while she had faced criticism for not talking with the media, she had been so distraught she needed to be “medicated.”
“People say I'm a horrible mom for not speaking and showing emotion as much as my parents but they don't know I needed to be medicated because they were afraid what would happen to me and I don't want to die again,” she wrote.
Heather Dilly said she has refused to put any Christmas things away or clean her son’s room and wants to just stay at home in case he comes to the house.
“I have tried to protect him from all the pain in the world, but he is a teen and can’t always be a momma’s boy,” she wrote. “I knew as he got older I would lose a little more of his attention but what I would give just to get that little bit now.”
Harley’s grandfather told WEWS-TV that the disappearance has been tearing the family up.
“My grandson had issues and he wasn’t a perfect boy, but he was a good boy,” he said. “And he loved his mother and he loved his family.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and United States Marshal Service are also helping in the search to find Harley Dilly.
He has been described as 4’9” tall weighing about 100 pounds with brown hair and green eyes. He also wears glasses and was last seen wearing black tennis shoes.
Anyone with information about the missing teen is urged to contact authorities.
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