Family of Murder Suspect Speaks with Eyewitness News

September 27, 2013 Updated Sep 20, 2010 at 3:35 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

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September 27, 2013 Updated Sep 20, 2010 at 3:35 PM EDT

NIAGARA FALLS, NY (WKBW) - Inside of 34-year old Michael Harvey's Niagara Falls family home Sunday night, there were tears and anger.

Harvey's family spoke with Eyewitness News in an off-camera interview, saying Michael couldn't have killed anyone. Michael was raised in Niagara Falls by his grandmother who legally adopted him. After finding out her son was wanted for murder, Michael's biological mother, sister and other relatives all gathered at Michael's family home, all of them saying he is innocent.

But in Charlotte, North Carolina there is a massive manhunt underway for Michael, who is a registered sex offender after being convicted of a 1996 rape in Niagara Falls.

His mother tells us Michael has been living in Charlotte for approximately seven years. Police there say he is wanted for the murder of 23-year-old Valerie Hamilton. Hamilton's body was found Sunday morning in a storage unit in Charlotte. She lived in Concord, North Carolina just outside of Charlotte. She was the Concord Police Chief's daughter. Officials know how she was killed but are not releasing that information at this time.

Police say Valerie was last seen late Wednesday night leaving a Charlotte area bar with Michael. Investigators say Michael checked into a motel near where the body was found, shortly after Valerie's disappearance. He checked out Friday.

Police believe Michael is driving a stolen 1996 white Chevy Blazer with North Carolina plates ZXE-1756. Charlotte police are not releasing details on Michael's relationship with the victim or confirming if they even knew each other. But, tonight the family in Niagara Falls is very upset about hearing the information, claiming Michael is the victim of police harassment.