GREEN BAY - Fifteen years to the day after a Green Bay man's body was found in Abrams, authorities say they have filed charges against his alleged killer.
"Hopefully today is the start for Chad's family to help putting some closure on this incident," said Oconto County Sheriff Mike Jansen.
It's a relief for Chad McLean's family, as a man already behind bars is implicated in the death.
It's a man FOX 11 has talked to before about McLean.
"I feel bad for the family I mean it's got to be awful, I mean I'd hate to lose my kid," said Hanson in 1998.
McLean, 19, was last seen February 22, 1998 in Abrams. His body was found one month later. But the case turned cold... until recently.
In 1998, McLean's mother, Carol Neilson, was determined to find her son several days after his disappearance. This after he didn't show up for work at Wisconsin Converting in Green Bay.
A month later McLean's body was found in the Pensaukee River near a bridge by the Sandalwood Golf Course in Abrams. McClean had died from multiple gun shots.
At the time, FOX 11 spoke with Peter Hanson who said he couldn't believe it.
"I never thought he was dead. I'd just like to say to the family that I'm so sorry. I wish I'd never let him in my truck that night," said Hanson.
Fifteen years later, officials have announced an arrest in the case.
"This morning, in Oconto County Circuit Court a felony criminal complaint was filed charging 52-year-old Peter J. Hanson with first-degree intentional homicide of Chad McLean," said Green Bay Police Chief Tom Molitor.
So what led to the break?
"We did have people re-interviewed, we brought many neighborhood witnesses into the John Doe, and that was part of it. We did get some new information," said special prosecutor Vince Biskupic.
Police say on February 22, 1998 McLean went to Abrams in Oconto County with a friend.
Court documents show the two went to the home of the friend's uncle where they began drinking. That's when Peter Hanson and Charles Mlados, showed up.
Eventually, McLean wanted to return to Green Bay. The criminal complaint shows McLean got into a vehicle with Hanson and Mlados.
When questioned in 1998, police say Hanson told them it was McLean's idea to take him to a nearby truck stop and drop him off. Hanson said, "he was glad Chad didn't ask to come back to his place because he didn't want him at his house."
When asked what he thought may have happened to McLean, Hanson said, "He probably ran into the wrong person at the gas station."
Detectives later learned McLean was never seen at the truck stop.
Court documents also show Hanson's neighbor told investigators last year "she heard two or three gun shots" coming from the direction of Hanson's property in Abrams on the night of February 22, 1998.
According to the criminal complaint, Hanson's wife Kathy told police that same night Hanson came out of the garage and she "saw blood on Pete's hands."
The criminal complaint says a friend of Hanson's told police Hanson said he and Chuck Mlados took Mclean to a shed behind Hanson's home.
The friend said "Hanson admitted to shooting McLean and Mlados loaded the body into a truck." The two then "took Chad to a bridge and dumped him in the river."
Mlados has not been arrested, but authorities say more charges could be coming.
"There is a belief from law enforcement that one other person and they're not ruling anyone else out beyond that other person might be involved and that investigation continues," said Biskupic.
McLean's family was at Friday's news conference, but declined to comment on the case. Biskupic spoke for McLean's mother.
"The dedication of these police agencies and their individual officers detectives for 15 years is at least giving Carol the first step towards some level of accountability some level of justice," said Biskupic.
Hanson is in the Oconto County jail, and has been there for several months on unrelated charges. He is scheduled to appear in court next week Thursday.
No one answered the phone when FOX 11 attempted to call his attorney for comment Friday.
There was enough snow Monday to make driving a challenge, including one deadly crash in the Fox Cities.
For 11 seasons, Blaise Winter played defensive end in the NFL. Three of those years were with the green and gold. Now, the man who overcame numerous health issues is being honored for his work.
A 68-year-old man is dead after a multi-vehicle crash in Neenah.
A Fond du Lac standoff involving shots fired at some area police officers is over.
A Grand Chute firefighter has died in a car crash.
Oral arguments will be held in March in a college baseball coach's lawsuit against his former employer.