Missoula
37° F
Mostly Cloudy
Mostly Cloudy
Kalispell
31° F
Snow
Snow
Bozeman
34° F
Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds
Advertisement

New document uncovered in Oregon fugitive case

Published On: Jan 30 2014 06:11:55 PM MST
Updated On: Jan 30 2014 07:00:57 PM MST
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Thursday, we uncovered new documents that help to shed light on Daniel Chafe's life in Montana. He's the man facing 18 charges of sex crimes who was captured in Bozeman two weeks ago.

We learned Chafe was a member of the Clarkston Fire Department Board of Trustees. That is, until the Gallatin County Commission learned he was not registered to vote.

We tracked down a letter dated October 26, 2007. It's addressed to Zachery Taylor, one of Chafe's aliases. It indicates that unless Chafe registered to vote by November 9 of that year, the position would be considered vacant.

We wanted to know more about how police were able to keep this case alive for 15 years and chase Chafe down, so we contacted the Oregon State Police Department to find out more.

Chafe is charged with rape, sodomy and sex abuse. His criminal file was opened in 1993. Five years later, Chafe ran. It's no wonder all of the detectives on the original case are now retired, some for as long as a decade.

It took 15 years to track down Chafe.

"It's obviously good for the survivor or victim in this case that a person has finally been brought to justice...From the detective standpoint, it's an accomplishment for them to be able to pick something up that's so old and then to work diligently on it," says Oregon State Police Lt. Steve Mitchell.

Mitchell tells us it may take a long time to solve a case or catch a suspect but they try to keep the case open.

"When these detectives have a lull in activity, for instance, they're in between investigations or something along those lines, they will look and do some follow up on it," Mitchell says.

Mitchell explains technology's played a significant role in solving cold cases and apprehending fugitives. We're talking forensics to social media.

"We do, as law enforcement, use social media quite often to help us track people down," says Mitchell.

He says, even when detectives retire, it's important for new detectives to pick up where they left off to keep the case active.

We told you how Chafe has a amateur radio license. We did some checking and found you have to have a picture ID to get one. It would used to verify the candidate. A Social Security number must also be turned into the FCC as part of the testing application for the first test.