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Arrest in Valerie Hamilton Murder Case

By Laura Strachan, Esq. on September 21, 2010 7:17 AM

Valerie Hamilton was the 23 year-old daughter of local police chief Merl Hamilton. Her body was discovered in a self storage unit not far from the location she was first reported missing from earlier this week. Although the official autopsy has not been released, CBS News now reports that there has been an arrest in the Valerie Hamilton murder case.

34 year-old registered sex offender, Michael Neal Harvey is believed to be the man seen exiting the restaurant with Hamilton on surveillance footage on the last night she was seen alive. Hamilton's car, along with her purse and keys, were found in the parking lot of a popular Charlotte bar and restaurant. Charlotte police did not release the tips that led them to the storage unit where they eventually found Valerie Hamilton's body.

Harvey was accused of rape in North Carolina, and has also been convicted of failing to register as a sex offender, and felony breaking and entering. Harvey was arrested in Niagara Falls, and will now add murder to his growing criminal record.

Earlier this week, Merl Hamilton went on Good Morning America in hopes of finding his daughter's killer, "They took my daughter. 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." Looks like Hamilton's passionate public plea was answered with the arrest of Michael Neal Harvey. However, the arrest is just the first step in what may be a very lengthy murder trial in North Carolina.

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