Valerie Hamilton Suspect Arrested; Sex Offender Nabbed in Death of Police Chief's Daughter

Michael Neal Harvey (CBS Affiliate WBTV)
Valerie Hamilton Murder Suspect Arrested; Sex Offender Nabbed in Death of Police Chief's Daughter
Valerie Hamilton (Personal Photo)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CBS/WBTV/AP) Officials have arrested the suspect in the death of Valerie Hamilton, the daughter of a North Carolina Police Chief.

PICTURES: Valerie Hamilton Body Found

Police say Michael Neal Harvey, a registered sex offender, was arrested in Niagara Falls, N.Y. in connection with the death of the 23-year-old woman.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said in a statement Sunday Hamilton's body was discovered Saturday night in a self storage unit. The cause of death has not been released. Police have not said what led them to the storage facility or who rented the unit where she was found, but issued a warrant for Harvey's arrest after the body was discovered.

Harvey, 34, is believed to be the man spotted leaving a Charlotte restaurant with Hamilton the last time she was seen alive early Wednesday. A manager at the Thomas Street Tavern told CBS affiliate WBTV that Hamilton's car was found in the restaurant's parking lot after she had been reported missing.

Police have obtained a security camera containing footage of the day Hamilton disappeared along with purchase receipts from the bar, but, information regarding the timeline of events leading up to Hamilton's disappearance, as well as the time her body was found has not yet been released, reports WBTV.

Harvey, a former Niagara Falls, N.Y., resident, was convicted of first-degree sexual abuse in that state in the 1990s. His North Carolina criminal record includes failing to register as a sex offender and felony breaking-and-entering.

Hamilton, who is the daughter of Merl Hamilton, police chief in the Charlotte-area city of Concord, attended Central Piedmont Community College and worked part-time at the Little Otter Swim School in Charlotte.

"They took my daughter, guys," Merl Hamilton said on ABC's "Good Morning America." "Play it right, play it by the rules, but y'all get out there and find this guy for me and when it comes back my way I'll pay you back," about the slaying of his daughter, Valerie.