A wanted fugitive's decomposing body was found in South Carolina home

CJ Coombs

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Frederick Cecil McLeangetindianews.com

Fugitive, Frederick Cecil McLean, has been missing and running from U.S. Marshals for over 16 years. In 2005, an arrest warrant was issued as he was wanted for several charges of child molestation on a child in San Diego County, California. His decomposed body was found in a home located in Seneca, South Carolina.

At age 70, a neighbor was performing a welfare check on him because he had not been seen in weeks. The neighbor reached the authorities once she discovered his body.

It was discovered during the investigation of this body, that he was one of "16 Most Wanted" fugitives. McLean's identification was confirmed on November 15, 2021, based on analyzing his fingerprints.

McLean was living under the alias name of James Fitzgerald in South Carolina. McLean was "deemed a high risk for sexually assaulting young girls." According to the investigation, there was one victim who said her abuse lasted for seven years. McLean, a Jehovah’s Witness, had allegedly met some of his victims at church.

U.S. Marshals Service Director Ronald Davis said in a statement, "The discovery of Frederick McLean’s body marks an end to the manhunt, but the investigation continues. 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."

The investigation continues to learn whether McLean had any help in avoiding being captured. The U.S. Marshals do not believe there was any foul play associated with McLean's death.

“During his years on the run McLean used numerous aliases and also lived in Poughkeepsie, New York, and Anderson, South Carolina,” said Stafford. “Because of his alleged crimes, we are concerned there may be other victims out there.”

When McLean left California, he left his cell phone, vehicle, and letters directed to his family. As a mechanic who used to own a business, it was reported that he had $100,000 in cash. A year after he left, he was put on the "15 Most Wanted List."

Sources: True Crime Daily; U.S. Marshals.gov; San Diego Union-Tribune

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Hello! I have 30 years of experience in the legal field, and a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. I am an incessant thinker, giver, and lover of life. Born into the service life of the Air Force in Louisiana, life has taken me to Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and ultimately to Missouri, I don't have that true concept of "home," but believe every living experience is tied to language. I love my family, art, true crime, non-fiction, reading, travel, and red pinot.

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