EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) -- US Marshals are putting out a public plea in an effort to track down a man accused of molesting dozens of children in California who is believed to be in the Eugene area.
Marshals from San Diego are looking for 57-year-old Frederick Cecil McLean, a suspect on the agency’s Top 15 Most Wanted list.
In 2005, McLean was charged with four counts of child molestation and one count of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of fourteen. The US Marshals' office says McLean sexual assaulted dozens children between the age of seven and twelve over the course of about twenty years.
However, authorities say the search for McLean has since gone to cold case status. McLean hasn’t been seen since 2005 when he sold off businesses, divorced his wife and left California.
Federal authorities are now appealing to the public to help find him and believe he may be in the Eugene area. Marshals say they have evidence showing the McLean mailed a letter to his family from Eugene and bought a race car in Oregon. He is also said to have several associates in the automotive business and mechanic trade in Oregon.
Marshals believe McLean could be using a new identity as well. They believe he is making a living by restoring old vehicles and various custom jobs on cars, trucks, motor homes or vintage Formula 1 racing cars.
"He could look like anybody you know, just a regular normal guy and he's out there looking for more victims, so that's why we're so concerned. It's going to take somebody from the public that probably already knows him or somebody that deals with him on a daily basis that's going to recognize him and that's what's going to close this case,” says Thomas Maranda, Senior Inspector with the US Marshals.
Marshals say McLean built relationships with children through the Jehovah’s Witness Church, gaining the trust of parents and then access to their children.
“It's not just that we want to find him so that we can cross him off the list, it's that we want to find him so that we can stop him from molesting any more kids,” says Maranda.
Marshals say McLean left California with between $100,000 and $500,000 in cash.
"That's the most dangerous thing is that he is not going to stop. He's a child molester," says Maranda. “We're not worried about maybe causing him to run again, because if he starts running, then he'll be panicking and making mistakes and we can catch up with him. We do - the US Marshals -does that very well, there's no better other . . . no other agency that does that chase better than we do. But this is a cold case, which is why we need to reach out to the public.”
Marshals say McClean could be going by the names 'Rick McClean' or 'Frederick McClain'. Before this, McLean had no criminal history. If convicted, he could be looking at prison for the rest of his life.
McLean is considered armed and dangerous. Marshals are offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to his capture. If you can help, call 1 800 336-0102.