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15-year manhunt for suspected rapist ends in Montana

- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 18, 2014

An Oregon fugitive was arrested in Montana after a 15-year manhunt Oregon state police said on Friday.

The suspect, 55-year-old Daniel Clement Chafe, was taken into custody on Wednesday in Bozeman, Montanna, where he had been living under the name after faking his death in a fishing accident 15 years earlier.

Police suspect Mr. Chafe faked his death to avoid a trial on child sex-abuse charges, Fox News reported. In the 1990s, Mr. Chafe was known as Stryder Styafyr in Roesburg, Oregon. According to the FBI, the married man was recruiting 14 to 16-year-old girls to form what he called the "Cobalt Clan."

"His reported goal was to have sex with these young girls in order to produce a large number of children over which he could rule," an FBI's most wanted poster states.

Mr. Chafe was arrested on charges of rape, sodomy and sex abuse of two teenage girls with police identifying other victims.

According to police, Mr. Chafe moved to New Mexico where he worked as a computer technician during the investigation. Ten days before his scheduled trial in Roseburg, a friend of Mr. Chafe's that he had gone fishing with in Washington state told authorities that he fell overboard and was missing.

Mr. Hasting told reporters that the friend who told authorities that Chafe went overboard has not been charged with a crime at this point, Fox News reported.

"Obviously we've got to learn what's gone on over the last 15 years," Lt. Gregg Hastings said.

According to authorities, Mr. Chafe had been living in a city near Bozeman where he owned a computer business. Detectives found no evidence that he was trying to recruit Montana girls.

"We have no indication (of that) and we do not have any kind of investigation into charges of that nature," said Undersheriff Dan Springer of Gallatin County, Montana.

Mr. Chafe remains in a Montana jail pending extradition to Roseburg where he will be tried for six counts of third-degree rape, five counts of third-degree sexual abuse and seven counts of third-degree sodomy.

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