Police: Oregon rape suspect on the run for 19 years lived in Mex - KPTV - FOX 12

Police: Oregon rape suspect on the run for 19 years lived in Mexico teaching surfing

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Eric Francisco DeCleve, jail booking photo Eric Francisco DeCleve, jail booking photo
NEWPORT, OR (KPTV) -

A man on the run for 19 years after sexually abusing two girls on the Oregon coast had been living in Cancun, Mexico and working as a surfing instructor, according to police.

Eric Francisco DeCleve, 43, is now back behind bars in Oregon.

DeCleve was arrested in Newport in May 1997. Police said he provided controlled substances to an 11-year-old girl and a 13-year-old girl and sexually abused both of them.

DeCleve was 24 years old at the time.

Investigators said he confessed to the crimes and was booked into the Lincoln County Jail. He then posted bail and fled the country, according to police.

A full extradition warrant was issued for his arrest.

In 2004, the Newport Police Department received information that DeCleve may have been living in Mexico near the U.S. boarder, but he was not found.

The case went cold until this past February.

While reviewing cold case DNA files, detectives again came across DeCleve's case.

Newport police worked closely with the FBI to locate DeCleve. Investigators said he was found in Cancun under the name Eric Victor Munhoven Navarro.

The FBI worked with officials in Mexico to capture and extradite DeCleve back to the U.S.

DeCleve was flown to San Francisco last Friday and held at the San Mateo County Jail. On Wednesday, a Newport Police Department detective and an FBI special agent flew to San Francisco to pick him up.  

He was returned to Oregon and booked into the Lincoln County Jail.

DeCleve is facing charges including first-degree rape, delivery of a controlled substance to a minor and first-degree sexual abuse. His bail was initially set at $250,000, but a judge raised it to $3 million on Thursday. 

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