Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Police Search For Rape Suspect Driving Van

Sioux Falls Police Department
Police released this photo of suspect Frederick McAbee.

Authorities are looking for a man they believe raped a 14-year-old girl in Sioux Falls. Police say the suspect is armed and dangerous, and they want anyone who sees him or the van he’s driving to call 911.

Officials are searching for 41-year-old Frederick McAbee. He’s a black Sioux Falls man who is about 5'9" tall and weighs 165 pounds. Authorities believe he is driving a gray 1999 Chevy Express. That’s a full-size cargo van. The license plate is 1BMC21.

Officer Sam Clemens with the Sioux Falls Police Department says Frederick McAbee is a relative of a 14-year-old girl who says he raped her. Clemens says the teenager reports she was in the van with McAbee when the sexual assault happened. Clemens says McAbee was driving when the girl escaped shortly after midnight Friday.

"He made a comment that he was threatening her with a gun, that he may kill her or may shoot her with that gun and ran to a house. They were turning a corner and she saw an opportunity and jumped out of the van and ran to a house," Clemens. "As she was running to a house, she heard one gunshot. Later on we had officers that found a bullet hole in one of the houses in the area."

Clemens says police don’t know whether the suspect meant to hit the girl or if he fired the weapon to scare her. He says they don’t know whether McAbee is in Sioux Falls or left the city.

"We know he’s got a handgun. We know he assaulted this 14-year-old girl. We’re really not sure at this point what he’s capable of doing, so we would consider him both armed and dangerous," Clemens says. "If anybody sees him or knows where he’s at, we’d want them to call police immediately. If we even see the vehicle, whether there’s anybody in it or if it’s just parked there, again we’d want people to call police."

Clemens says people should dial 911.

Authorities are not releasing the relationship between McAbee and the teenager. Clemens says the girl went to the hospital and is now in a safe place.

Kealey Bultena grew up in South Dakota, where her grandparents took advantage of the state’s agriculture at nap time, tricking her into car rides to “go see cows.” Rarely did she stay awake long enough to see the livestock, but now she writes stories about the animals – and the legislature and education and much more. Kealey worked in television for four years while attending the University of South Dakota. She started interning with South Dakota Public Broadcasting in September 2010 and accepted a position with television in 2011. Now Kealey is the radio news producer stationed in Sioux Falls. As a multi-media journalist, Kealey prides herself on the diversity of the stories she tells and the impact her work has on people across the state. Kealey is always searching for new ideas. Let her know of a great story! Find her on Facebook and twitter (@KealeySDPB).