Local News

Suspect: Concord police chief's daughter overdosed

Posted September 21, 2010 6:15 p.m. EDT
Updated September 21, 2010 10:40 p.m. EDT

— 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.

"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.