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Fri, Nov. 22

Suspect in local child sex crimes caught in Oregon

Eric McNeill

Eric McNeill

PRESCOTT - Eric McNeill, the subject of a massive manhunt, was arrested Wednesday by the U.S. Marshals Service at a campground near Klamath Falls, Ore., according to a news release.

McNeill, 64, is believed to have committed sex offenses as far back as 1972 and as recently as September 2011, said YCSO spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn, "but there was some delayed reporting from some of the victims, and it took some time to put this case together," and have a judge issue an arrest warrant.

On July 26, the Yavapai County Attorney's Office charged McNeill with 22 counts of sex crimes against children.

McNeill's case was featured on "America's Most Wanted" on Sept. 14 and, based on tips authorities received, they learned he was in Southern Oregon, possibly near Klamath Falls or Chiloquin. On Sept. 19, Deputy Marshals spotted McNeill's vehicle at Hagelstein Park, a roadside campground off of Highway 97, approximately eight miles north of Klamath Falls. With help from the Klamath Falls Police Department and Oregon State Police, a felony traffic stop was conducted and McNeill was taken into custody without incident.

"The (alleged) acts against these children are horrendous and deplorable," D'Evelyn said. "Our detectives have made this the highest priority."

D'Evelyn said the crimes "involve children that are known to the offender. He's a very, very dangerous man when it comes to kids."

There was a nationwide no-bond arrest warrant for McNeill, D'Evelyn said.

YCSO believes there are additional victims who have not yet come forward, and that there could be victims in Washington as well.

As of Thursday, McNeill was being held without bond in the Klamath County jail, awaiting an extradition hearing.

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