Body Discovered During Welfare Check Found to Be Fugitive Wanted for Sexual Assault of Minors

Side by side photo of wanted photo of Mclean and age generated photo
US Marshals

The man who had been living in a South Carolina neighborhood as James Fitzgerald was found to actually be Frederick McLean, a fugitive that had been on the run for over 15 years after being wanted for the sexual assault of minors.

On November 6, a body was found in the home of James Fitzgerald. It was discovered that the body was actually a fugitive that had been on the run for over 15 years, according to a press release.

A woman was concerned for her elderly neighbor due to his absence, and called the authorities after discovering a decomposing body during her welfare check on the man’s home.

Results from the autopsy and fingerprints were used to verify the deceased’s identity, and the body was found to be Frederick Cecil McLean, a man that had been wanted since 2005 for child molestation, according to authorities. 

Authorities say that McLean was considered a high risk for the sexual assault of young girls, and was wanted by the San Diego Sheriff's Department in California for multiple counts of sexual assault on a child.

According to U.S. Marshals, one now-adult woman claimed that McLean had assaulted her more than 100 times between the ages of 5 and 12. He was added to the 15 Most Wanted list in 2006.

According to authorities, McLean had spent the last 15 years in the Seneca home he was found in, and was said to have spent time in Anderson, South Carolina, as well as New York, all under multiple aliases. 

"We wish McLean’s fate had been determined by a court of law 15 years ago," said U.S. Marshal Steve Stafford of the Southern District of California. 

"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." 

According to WRBCtv, the U.S. Marshals and local authorities are continuing their investigation to see if McLean had any help during his time avoiding the law.

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