Details of Disappearance
McClelland was last seen in North Pole, Alaska in August 2020. The last time he used his debit card was when he bought diesel fuel for his truck at a Fairbanks, Alaska gas station at 5:43 p.m. on August 14.
At the time of his disappearance, he lived with a roommate, Aaron Mitchell Hague, and worked for the same property management company Hague did. McClelland had gotten out of prison in 2018 after serving a 29-year sentence for killing his boss in a dispute over pay, and was putting his life back together. He did building maintance, painting houses and other odd jobs for his employer.
After his disappearance he missed work and missed check-ins with his parole officer without explanation, which is uncharacteristic of his behavior. He also left all of his belongings behind, including his boat, his truck, his beloved dog and his fishing and woodcutting equipment.
The date of his disappearance is sometimes given as August 17, but may have occurred anytime between August 14 and August 26. On August 24, a local resident reported finding his red GMC truck with an extended cab abandoned south of North Pole. The resident saw it sitting in the same spot for two days before calling the police.
During this time period Hague, used McClelland's phone to text McClelland's brother in Michigan and said McClelland was seriously ill and he, Hague, had taken him to an urgent care center. He later said McClelland had a "cardiopulmonary issue" and was being admitted to a hospital to get surgery.
Prior to his disappearance, McClelland had sent three $4,000 checks to his brother and asked him to hold the money, and if anything happened to him to divide the cash between his two nephews. On August 19, texts from McClelland's phone asked his brother to send back "at least half those checks" and requested $8,000 to $10,000 for "transmission, rent and medical costs."
McClelland's brother became suspicious about the sudden illness and requests for money. Every time he tried to call his brother's phone, no one would answer. He called an urgent care center in Fairbanks, who told him they would not have accepted a patient with heart problems, and two hospitals, which said they had never had McClelland as a patient.
Two days after getting the texts asking for money, his brother called the Alaska State Troopers and asked them to do a welfare check on McClelland. Authorities went to his home but found no sign of him, and listed him as a missing person when they were unable to locate him. They did find Hague driving McClelland's red Jeep. Hague claimed McClelland had sold him the vehicle, but the title to it was still in McClelland's name.
On August 26, Hague packed his belongings and moved out of the house, violating both his rental lease and his probation by doing so. He was on probation for theft and unauthorized use of a credit card, and was supposed to notify his probation officer of any changes of address. Investigators believe he fled the state to avoid being questioned in McClelland's disappearance.
In March 2021, Hague was arrested in Gresham, Oregon and charged with murder and identity theft in the death of Anthony Alan Alcorn, whose body was found in a wooded area in Gresham.
Hague had met Alcorn at an Anchorage, Alaska homeless shelter in the fall of 2020; Hague was staying there under the name of his brother. According to police, in March 2021, Hague traveled to Washington state and assumed Alcorn's identity, then convinced the real Alcorn to fly to Oregon on the promise of a good job, killed him there, and lived under the victim's identity until his arrest.
In May 2022, Hague was indicted for murder and identity theft in McClelland's disappearance as well. Police believe the motive for the murder was money.
Authorities stated that during the days before McClelland's disappearance was reported, Hague used his roommate's bank card to make significant purchases, including $1,460.90 worth of video gaming equipment, and he opened an account under McClelland's name with a telecommunications provider and ordered the fastest possible internet service. He also used the card to buy plant food, paper towels and a six-by-eight-foot tarp from Home Depot.
Hague is awaiting trial in both murders. At the time of his disappearance, McClelland worked as a painter and handyman in the Fairbanks/North Pole area. Foul play is suspected in his case due to the circumstances involved.