Police Chief's Daughter's Body Found; Sex Offender Sought

Valerie Hamilton had been missing since Wednesday; body found in storage unit.

ByABC News
September 19, 2010, 7:00 PM

Sept. 19, 2010— -- Police in Charlotte, N.C., were searching today for a registered sex offender they called a suspect in the killing of a police chief's daughter.

The body of Valerie Hamilton, the 23-year-old daughter of Concord, N.C., Police Chief Merl Hamilton, was found early today in a storage unit in East Charlotte, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

Valerie Hamilton had last been seen on Wednesday, police said.

"Our expectation when we began this investigation on Thursday night was that we would return this young lady to her family safe and sound, as is our expectation for every missing person's case, and unfortunately it didn't... it didn't result in that for us tonight," Deputy Chief Harold Medlock said at a news conference early today.

He described Hamilton's death as a murder and said police were looking for Harvey.

Medlock did not say what the relationship was between Hamilton and Harvey, but said police hope someone will come forward with information about him, according to ABC Charlotte affiliate WSOC-TV.

"We're actively and very earnestly seeking the public's help in locating Mr. Harvey or the Chevrolet Blazer he is driving," he said.

Harvey, 34, was believed to still be in the Charlotte area, he said.

It was thought that he was driving a stolen white 1996 Chevrolet Blazer with North Carolina tag ZXE-1756.

Harvey is a registered sex offender, who was convicted of rape in upstate New York in 1996, WSOC-TV reported. He also was arrested for breaking and entering, possession of a firearm by a felon, and several probation violations, according to the TV station.

The Associated Press reported that police believe Harvey is the man seen in surveillance videos leaving a restaurant with Valerie Hamilton last week.

The video shows the two of them leaving the Thomas Street Tavern early Wednesday morning, the AP reported. Hamilton had not been seen since she left the restaurant and her car was found parked nearby.