A southern Oregon fugitive featured on “America's Most Wanted” and “Unsolved Mysteries” was arrested in Bozeman after being on the lam for child sex charges since 1998.
According to the Oregon State Police, Daniel Clement Chafe, aka Stryder Styarfyr, 55, was taken into custody Wednesday on a federal warrant.
Chafe had been living in Clarkston and had a computer business in Three Forks, said Gallatin County Undersheriff Dan Springer.
Oregon police have been working with the FBI in a search for Chaffe since he failed to appear for trial on Sept. 23, 1998, in Douglas County Circuit Court to face multiple charges of rape, sodomy and sex abuse of girls ages 14 to 16.
According to the FBI, Chafe was accused of recruiting girls to form what he called the “Cobalt Clan,” while living in Roseburg, Ore. His goal, police said, was to have sex with these girls in order to produce a large number of children over which he could rule. At the time that he was accused of recruiting and having sex with these girls, Chafe was married, the FBI said.
Before failing to appear in court, Chafe was living in New Mexico and reportedly had gone on a fishing trip 10 days earlier with a friend in Washington, Oregon police said. The friend reported that Chafe fell out of a boat into the Snake River and was missing. A search failed to find Chafe and he has remained a fugitive since.
Springer said the FBI contacted the sheriff's office late last week with information on Chafe's whereabouts.
On Wednesday, after some surveillance, Chafe was pulled over on Interstate 90 near the 19th Avenue interchange in Bozeman. Chafe was arrested without incident, Springer said.
After spending just a few hours in the Gallatin County jail, Chafe was transferred to Missoula where he appeared in U.S. District Court on Thursday.
Chafe has been the subject of several television shows, including “America's Most Wanted” and “Unsolved Mysteries.”
A break came when an Oregon detective's research indicated Chafe was living in Montana under an alias. Investigators found that Chafe was living in Clarkston and working in Three Forks.
Chafe is in custody in the Missoula County jail pending extradition to Oregon, where he will face six charges of rape, five charges of sexual abuse and seven charges of sodomy.
The FBI, Gallatin County Sheriff's Office and Montana Highway Patrol coordinated to make the arrest.