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Body of police chief's daughter found; sex offender sought

Posted September 19, 2010
Updated September 20, 2010

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— The body of the missing daughter of the Concord police chief was found in a storage shed, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are searching for a convicted sex offender.

Michael Neal Harvey, 34, has been charged with murder in the death of 23-year-old Valerie Grace Hamilton. He remains at large.

Hamilton, the daughter of Concord Police Chief Merl Hamilton, was last seen at Thomas Street Tavern between 12:30 and 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.

WBTV-TV in Charlotte reported that Hamilton's body was found at Mini-Storage Center on Monroe Road. Police have not said how she died or what they think happened to her between her disappearance and the discovery of her body.

Police said they believe that Harvey might still be in the Charlotte area, but his information has been entered into a database accessible to law enforcement agencies nationwide, WBTV reported. His last known address was 7321 Pebblestone Drive in Charlotte.

Hamilton was last seen leaving the bar with a white man in his 30s. A manager at the bar told WBTV that no one knew the man and that her car was left in the parking lot, with her purse and ID inside. Police obtained surveillance photos and receipts from the bar.

Hamilton was reported missing after she didn't show up for work as a swimming instructor at the Little Otter Swim School Wednesday morning. She was a student at Central Piedmont Community College.

Harvey is described as a white man, 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing about 165 pounds. He has brown eyes and short, brown hair.

He is thought to be driving a 1996 white Chevy Blazer, North Carolina license plate ZXE-1756. It has either two or four doors.

Harvey is listed on the National Sex Offender Registry. He was convicted in 1996 of felony first-degree sexual abuse of a woman in Niagara Falls City, N.Y., and sentenced to three to six years in prison.

Harvey has also amassed a criminal record in North Carolina, according to state Department of Correction records. He was convicted in 2006 of failure to register as a sex offender. He was sentenced to probation.

DOC records show that he was still serving 30 months' probation for his most recent convictions in 2009 for felony breaking-and-entering, larceny after breaking-and-entering and shoplifting.

Anyone who sees Harvey is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or to speak directly to lead Detective Martin or the Charlotte police's Violent Criminal Apprehension Team at 704-336-8228.

50 Comments

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  • ccacrabbitdog Sep 20, 2010

    people keep asking how he became a suspect....ok everybody listening..............it's called POLICE WORK......thats to all you police bashers on here...........

  • seankelly15 Sep 20, 2010

    DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT - "Sorry Trixie. But the lack of severe punishment in North Carolina is DIRECTLY related to liberals being elected in office and as judges." Another of your comments that lack ANY PROOF whatsoever. Just because you think it doesn't make it true. In young children it is called "magical thinking".

  • killing_me_softly Sep 20, 2010

    I am curious to know how they came to the conclusion that this man was the suspect.

  • killing_me_softly Sep 20, 2010

    Sorry, but in murder cases, I haven't seen a case where someone was proven to have been executed when they were innocent. Its possible someone could serve a prison sentence when they were innocent. But the percentages of that happening are very large decimals. in Death Penalty cases, the evidence is beyond a "shadow of a doubt".

    It has happened before.

  • seankelly15 Sep 20, 2010

    DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT -"Dude, don't include a Return Address. You know, Anonymous?" If you think that this is a good option and that it will have an effect, then man up to the guy that you are accusing. Cowards hide behind anonymous pronouncements.

  • seankelly15 Sep 20, 2010

    DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT - "I haven't seen a case where someone was proven to have been executed when they were innocent." Have you looked? If you think that innocent men have not been put to death then you need to stop commenting on what you know noting about. "Shadow of a doubt" is the term for the standard applied in a criminal case - jurors make this determination based on what they have been told (not by some independent evaluation). Logic dictates that if there have been any men that were truly innocent but convicted and sent to prison, then there are some who were put to death.

  • BadDayforButch Sep 20, 2010

    They just reported that they caught this guy. I hope that he is the one and they have apprehended the right guy in this case. Now, let him get put on trial before convicting him. I hope they bring in somebody other than the SBI to perform any testing or as we know, it will all need ot be redone at taxpayer's expense

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Sep 20, 2010

    Sorry Trixie. But the lack of severe punishment in North Carolina is DIRECTLY related to liberals being elected in office and as judges.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Sep 20, 2010

    babbleon: It's the 'shadow of a doubt' part that bothers me. A lot of people who have been convicted are being shown to be innocent with new evidence.."

    Sorry, but in murder cases, I haven't seen a case where someone was proven to have been executed when they were innocent. Its possible someone could serve a prison sentence when they were innocent. But the percentages of that happening are very large decimals. in Death Penalty cases, the evidence is beyond a "shadow of a doubt".

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Sep 20, 2010

    "drop the local offenders a card in the mail letting them know you know who they are and will be watching ( no, thats not illegal)."

    BigUNCFan: "Hmmm, may not be illegal but sure is stirring a hornets nest. I for one do not want to get a sex offender fired up at me and my family and be the object of retaliation."

    Dude, don't include a Return Address. You know, Anonymous? To quote YOU from your previous post... "..me thinks you are not very bright."

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