'The Hunt': Frederick McLean

'The Hunt': Frederick McLean
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'The Hunt': Frederick McLean 01:33
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(CNN)This story was originally reported August 10, 2014.

Rick McLean was a trusted member of his Riverside, California, community, his former neighbors and friends say. He was involved in a Jehovah's Witness congregation and had a passion for restoring classic race cars.
"We started doing family things with (the McLeans) right after their daughter was born," neighbor Deborah Wesche recalled. "They wanted to go on vacation with us in the summers; they invited us over to dinner a lot, so we ended up doing a lot of things with the McLeans."
Frederick McLean, 63

  • Suspected child molester
  • On the run since September 2004
  • Investigators believe McLean is still in northern San Diego County or the southern Riverside area, but he could be anywhere. He is an experienced camper and has frequented the Anza-Borrego Desert and the Cuyamaca Mountains.

Rick McLean was particularly interested in hanging out with the children, Wesche's daughter Andrea said.
    "It (was) like, 'Do you guys want to go like play games at the arcade? Or do you want to go get ice cream?' " Andrea Wesche said. The kids and parents thought it was OK since McLean "was definitely respected in the church (and) he was definitely trusted, well-liked."
    Wesche, now 27, said she and her brothers would spend the night at McLean's house, and that's when she said he began molesting her.
    "This started probably around 8, it went on for about -- I would say till I was about 13," Wesche said. "I didn't really know what to do. So I just didn't say anything.
    In the spring of 2004, a girl from McLean's church confronted him "and said point-blank, 'You molested me.' And he admitted to it in front of her, in front of the adults, and in front of his wife," said Tom Maranda of the U.S. Marshals Service in San Diego. "That was the dam-busting moment, and the floodgates opened from then."
    Shortly afterward, the Wesches got a phone call from McLean's wife, Nancy.
    Child abuse suspect on the run
    Child abuse suspect on the run

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      Child abuse suspect on the run

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    Child abuse suspect on the run 02:20
    "She said, 'You need to talk to your daughter,' " Deborah Wesche recalled. "I called her up to my bedroom and as soon as I said it, I knew that it had happened to her. I could just tell by her face, by the look on her face. So, and then, I said, 'Did anything happen to you?' and she said yes and she started crying."
    McLean started selling off his businesses and other assets, including his race cars, Maranda said. His wife and family left him, Maranda said, and then he disappeared. He had left a truck behind to be sold by his family along with a map with directions to a secret stash of money. After tracking down that location, Maranda came up empty-handed.
    By the summer of 2004, other allegations of sexual abuse surfaced, and McLean was later charged with 15 counts of sexual assault on four children -- including Andrea Wesche -- according to Maranda.
    The U.S. Marshals Service said they believe McLean fled with at least $100,000 in cash, possibly in a small, dark-colored pickup, and may have changed his name and appearance. He is an experienced camper, often frequenting Southern California's Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and Cuyamaca Mountains, and he also knows a lot about restoring classic race cars.
    The marshals suspect McLean has been molesting girls for at least 25 years and they said he remains a threat.
    "The hardest part about this case is that I know after nine years that this guy is still out there," said Don Allie of the U.S. Marshals Service in San Diego.
    If you would like the most up-to-date details about the Frederick McLean case, please call (800) 205-4876.