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Suspect: Concord police chief's daughter overdosed

Posted September 21, 2010

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— The man charged in the death of the daughter of Concord's police chief told a New York reporter Tuesday that the woman overdosed on heroin and that he didn't kill her.

Michael Neal Harvey, 34, of 7321 Pebblestone Drive in Charlotte, was arrested Monday in Niagara Falls, N.Y., on a murder charge in the death of Valerie Hamilton.

Harvey maintained his innocence as he was being escorted into court, where he waived extradition to North Carolina.

"She OD'ed in her sleep. This is not a murder. I did not kill her," he said.

Hamilton, 23, of Charlotte, was the daughter of Concord Police Chief Merl Hamilton. She was reported missing Wednesday after she failed to show up for work, and police found her body early Sunday at a mini-storage facility in Charlotte.

Late Tuesday, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said in a statement that Hamilton didn't seem to die of any apparent physical trauma and that medical examiners "found evidence of drug usage."

Police also reported that witnesses said Hamilton "appeared to need immediate medical attention" when she was last seen but that Harvey ignored their requests that he get her help.

Paul Maikranz, who owns the Niagara Falls home where Harvey was found, said Tuesday that Harvey told him he awoke Wednesday morning to find Hamilton dead.

Suspect: Concord police chief's daughter overdosed Suspect: Concord police chief's daughter overdosed

"He didn't do it. He came here and was scared," Maikranz said. "He was out with this girl (Tuesday) night. They went to his house and, you know, they were doing things and his roommate walked in, so they went and got a hotel room. He said he woke up the next morning next to a dead girl."

Maikranz said Harvey then panicked, dumped Hamilton's body and called him.

Harvey was convicted in 1996 of felony first-degree sexual abuse of a woman in Niagara Falls and was sentenced to three to six years in prison.

North Carolina Department of Correction records show that he was sentenced to probation in 2006 after being convicted of failing to register as a sex offender in this state.

He is still serving 30 months on probation for recent convictions for felony breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering and shoplifting.

Hamilton was buried Tuesday.


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  • exposure102 Sep 23, 2010

    From another source...

    "Michael Neal Harvey, 34, is being held in Niagara County and was suffering drug withdrawal symptoms that could delay his return to Charlotte..."

    Poor thing...looks like life as a drug dealer isn't working out so well for him now...

  • iworkandpaytaxes Sep 23, 2010

    lock him up and throw away the key. nothing but a burden to society and now he's at least partially responsible for her death, if not entirely responsible. he could have gotten her help and she'd still be alive. he just didn't care about anything but his buz.
    September 23, 2010 9:48 a.m.

    What if he overdosed and she lived?

  • Here2tellya Sep 23, 2010

    lock him up and throw away the key. nothing but a burden to society and now he's at least partially responsible for her death, if not entirely responsible. he could have gotten her help and she'd still be alive. he just didn't care about anything but his buz.

  • josephlawrence43 Sep 22, 2010

    well, the question has to be asked: did he provide the drugs on which she ODd? If he did, then he is at least chargable with 2nd degree murder, and a few other things. If, on the other hand, she provided her own stuff, and he was just there, that reduces the possible charges considerably.

  • Diabolical Sep 22, 2010

    I know this may seem harsh and it's not meant to be. But, speaking from experience at her age (not drug use) but putting myself in her situation more times than my dad could count. I had no one to blame but myself for the situations I faced. I got lucky and wizened up and hopefully parents will talk to their children about the dangers that one may face out there alone. He may be 1/4 at fault but she has no one to blame but herself for her 3/4 situation. It's a hard lesson to face and a hard lesson to learn and hopefully other children out there will smarten up on the real world. You just never know what's going to happen that night, but you can't go on blaming everyone else when you willing went there. People need to take responsibility for their own actions. Again, my condolences to the family and may she RIP and if they have another daughter, hopefully, she will learn from this horrible experience and not repeat history.

  • ghimmy51 Sep 22, 2010

    Major806 if you had his record and woke up with the Police Chief's daughter dead of an OD would you panic? Think you just might be shot before trial? Think you could get a fair trial in that jurisdiction? If he's telling the truth he'll be guilty of improperly disposing of a body.

  • ghimmy51 Sep 22, 2010

    I don't know. He might be telling the truth. A proper autopsy hopefully was done. More than likely most of the findings were not made public due to her dad. This will take time and the SBI needs to do the investigation. The autopsy will need study and if it isn't complete another is needed. Everyone who saw them needs to be found and interviewed, including the hotel clerk and any nearby guests. Who likes a sex offender? Nobody. But he might be telling the truth.

  • Sherlock Sep 22, 2010

    If he did not do it then why run and why did his friend help him out. Why her property left in her car?

  • valdon721 Sep 22, 2010

    The bottom line is - he is a convicted sex offender who should not be allowed to walk free. Sex offenders cannot be rehabilitated. She obviously made at least one bad decision that night,and unfortunately it may have caused her death. We can only raise up our kids, they make their OWN decisions. By his own admission, he was there when an illegal act took place, whether he did it or not, so I don't feel sorry for him at all.

  • Slip Kid Sep 22, 2010

    I have a simple, cost efective method to better manage those on 'probation' - If they once wore prison clothes and then get probation, they should be required to wear their prison issues until they complete probation. That way we'd know who's on probation for violent crimes. Our justice system has become a criminal system. It serves the 'rights' of felons over the rights of the innocent.