Missing in the North: John William McClellan

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) – On August 14, 2020, at 5:43 p.m., a man named John William McClellan pulled his truck up to a Fairbanks gas station and filled the tank with diesel fuel. No one has seen him alive or dead since then; except maybe a man.

At the time, McClelland was a 61-year-old painter and handyman who lived in the North Pole, Alaska, with a roommate and co-worker, Aaron Mitchell Hague. McClelland was rebuilding his life after his release from prison, having served a 29-year prison sentence for killing his boss during a pay dispute. Two years after its release in 2018, it seemed to be on the right track. He had a steady job, cooperative parole meetings, a fishing hobby and a beloved pet, an Australian Cattle Dog.

Both McClellan's employer and parole officer were surprised when he abruptly stopped showing up in mid-August, which was unlike him. The exact date of his disappearance is debated, but on August 24, a local resident noticed his truck – a red GMC extended cab – abandoned just south of the North Pole.

A few days earlier, on August 19, McClellan's brother received a series of surprising text messages from his brother's phone saying that McClellan had been taken to an emergency room for “cardiopulmonary issues” and was due for surgery soon. . Other texts asked his brother to send him a sum of money he had deposited with him for his care, as well as about $10,000 for “transportation, rent and medical expenses.”

McClellan's brother became suspicious, especially when McClellan did not answer his calls. He called Fairbanks Urgent Care and two hospitals, which told him McClellan had never been a patient. He then asked Alaska State Troopers to conduct a welfare check.

Police said there was no sign of McClellan at his home. They did, however, encounter his roommate Hague driving McClellan's jeep. Hague claimed that McClellan had sold him the vehicle some time before, although the title was still in McClellan's name.

Three days later, The Hague was gone; his things packed and the house empty.

The investigation revealed that in the days following McClellan's disappearance, Hague “borrowed” his bank card to make purchases and cash withdrawals worth several thousand dollars, including $1,460.90 $ of video game equipment, as well as a tarp and cleaning supplies from Home Depot.

Despite being a person of immediate interest, Hague managed to disappear for several months. He first lived under the identity of his brother Jesse, then in Oregon under the identity of a man named Anthony Alcorn, whom he met at a homeless shelter in Anchorage.

When the real Alcorn was found dead in the woods on March 15, 2021, murdered by blunt force trauma to the head, Hague was discovered, arrested and charged.

No sign of McClellan, living or dead, was ever found. Despite the lack of a body, Hague was charged with his murder as well as that of Alcorn. Hague has been held without bail since his arrest on March 31, 2021, and our portrait of those August days remains incomplete.

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