- Last week, a hunter found a man living in a bunker in the woods of rural Wisconsin.
- The man, 44-year-old Jeremiah Button, turned out to be the suspect in a child abuse and pornography case, who disappeared two weeks before his trial was supposed to start in early 2016.
- Detectives showed reporters around inside the bunker, which had electricity and a water filtration system.
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Nearly three-and-a-half years after disappearing, a man wanted on child abuse and pornography charges was discovered living in a claustrophobic bunker in the Wisconsin woods.
A curious hunter looked into the bunker last Friday, and found 44-year-old Jeremiah Button laying down in his bed. Police were called and Button was arrested after a brief 20-minute stand-off, WSAW reported.
Once in custody, police said the conversation-starved Button was eager to explain how he had survived on the run, and how he built his elaborate bunker.
Portage County Sheriff's Office Boosters/Facebook
"Given the chance, I think the majority of the US population would choose prison over this type of isolation from human contact," Lt. Jeff Stefonek told WSAW.
Button was arrested in 2014, after a middle school-aged relative told a counselor that he had been abusing her for the past four years, according to the criminal complaint seen by Fox 6. In a search of Button's home, police also said they found an SD card with child pornography on it.
Button was subsequently charged with child sexual abuse and possession of child pornography, but his parents paid his $25,000 bond so he could live at home while he waited for his trial to start.
As soon as he got out of jail, Button told police he started building his bunker, hidden in a wooded area near Ringle, Wisconsin, off a hiking trail.
The bunker was carved into an embankment and then covered in brush for added camouflage.
About two weeks before his trial was set to start, Button disappeared and went to live at the bunker full-time.
He started adding some of the comforts of home — a computer, radio, and water filtration system — with discarded goods he found at a local dump.
For electricity, he used car batteries that he charged with solar panels on sunny days, and with a stationary bike on overcast days.
He even hung an antenna from a nearby tree to watch TV.
After his arrest on August 9, a judge set bail at $100,000. His next hearing is scheduled for September 16.
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