Dead man’s last words are read out to jury

By Phil McAllister

BBC News, District of Columbia

The rural property in South Carolina where Frederick McLean’s decomposed body was found is a labour of love for man who grew up on the property. Mr McLean hid out from his co-workers after being fired Almost 16 years after they last saw him on a summer break, a neighbour discovered his decomposing body in his backyard. The search began after Mr McLean’s son called police from Arizona and said he was worried his father was dead. “I found my father laying next to a broken planter and dirt and I was unable to find a pulse,” says Howard Green. He then contacted the FBI and one by one they searched his home to check for evidence, checking each room for anything that could help. That was when they discovered a dishevelled body. All that remained of the 58-year-old for most of the last 16 years was the remains of his head and a severed leg. Very emotional While the investigators rushed to his home, a US Marshals Service agent – feeling little urge to look for clues – turned to his website. The manhunt had begun. Searching under his bed, he looked for an aluminium tire on his driveway. Twenty-three days after that, Mr McLean’s body was found in his backyard covered in a blanket, a stone and a vacuum cleaner box. He died suddenly in his sleep and investigators are still trying to piece together what happened next. Kneeling down, all he had was a broken pillar, a dog bone, a splayed bone, a fork with legs and the dog bone on his hand.

Carl McLean, Frederick’s son

He made up a poem about how he wished he’d hidden him in the fire and that his army would send him home but he’d still have to spend the rest of his life waiting for them to find him. Investigators say that he may have died of natural causes but it is unclear how he died. His son, Carl McLean, has now asked for privacy. “Obviously it’s very emotional,” he said. “Very emotional.” Describing his father’s supposed “shadow people”, he said: “I really don’t think they have any part in what happened. “They’re used to dealing with their mother, their father and so on, and I don’t think they had much to do with his behaviour.” Mr McLean only moved to their rural home in 1993 – the same year he was fired from a Fed-Ex office in downtown Los Angeles. The collection agency doesn’t take kindly to an employee who was said to have absconded rather than work for the company again. They told him that if he didn’t come back they’d have to terminate his contract with FedEx. But he was hired as a full-time horse trainer instead. The area is the centre of a number of drug investigations. But with so many wires, scopes and cameras in place, investigators now think they may have found the network to bring down a man who may have managed to stay one step ahead of the law for so long.

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