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Man Found Dead by Neighbor Was a Most Wanted Fugitive

Most wanted fugitive Frederick Cecil McLean. Photo: U.S. Marshals Service

By Steve Neavling

For 16 years, Frederick Cecil McLean had evaded capture while on the U.S. Marshals Service’ Most Wanted List. 

Then a resident in a small South Carolina town checked on her elderly neighbor earlier this month and discovered his decomposing body inside his home. 

That neighbor was McLean, who was wanted on child molestation charges in San Diego County. He was living under an alias. 

“The discovery of Frederick McLean’s body marks an end to the manhunt, but the investigation continues,” U.S. Marshals Service Director Ronald Davis said in a statement. “I want to personally thank the men and women of the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and the Oconee County Coroner’s Office who dedicated hundreds of man hours helping the Marshals identify the body and gather evidence allowing us to gain a better picture of McLean’s life as a fugitive.

During an autopsy on Nov. 15, the fingerprints on the body matched McLean’s. 

No foul play was suspected in his death. 

McLean, 70, was wanted on multiple counts of sexual assault on child and was considered a high risk for sexually assaulting young girls. One of the victims alleged McLean assaulted her more than 100 times over a seven-year period beginning when she was 5 years old.

“We wish McLean’s fate had been determined by a court of law 15 years ago,” U.S. Marshal Steve Stafford of the Southern District of California said. “The investigators working on this case never gave up. We hope McLean’s death brings some sense of closure for the victims and their families, especially knowing he can never hurt another child.”



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