Oregon child sex abuse suspect captured after 15-year manhunt

Daniel Clement Chafe mugshot

By CNN Staff

(CNN) — A child sex abuse suspect from Oregon has been captured after being on the run for 15 years, police said.

Daniel Clement Chafe was arrested Wednesday in Bozeman, Montana, according to a statement by the Oregon State Police.

Chafe faces six counts of rape, five counts of sexual abuse and seven counts of sodomy, according to the police statement.

Initially, the investigation centered on crimes against two teenage girls, but later, additional victims were identified, police said.

Chafe disappeared in September 1998 after failing to appear in a Douglas County courtroom to face trial, police said.

Ten days before his scheduled court appearance, Chafe reportedly went on a fishing trip with a friend in Washington state, according to the police statement.

That friend told authorities Chafe fell from the fishing boat on the Snake River.

After a search failed to find him, investigators considered him a fugitive.

Police believe he faked his own death.

Chafe was featured on several television shows, including “America’s Most Wanted,” and was in consideration for the FBI’s Top Ten fugitive list.

Chafe was allegedly recruiting minor females between ages 14 and 16 to form what he called the “Cobalt Clan,” according to the FBI’s most wanted poster.

His reported goal was to produce a number of children over which he could rule, according to the FBI.

The break came when an Oregon detective’s research indicated Chafe was living in Montana under an alias. Further investigation confirmed where Chafe was living and working, ultimately leading to his arrest.

The-CNN-Wire
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