A fugitive who went missing two weeks before he was to stand trial was found three years later in a solar-powered bunker deep in the woods. He was only discovered after a hunter noticed brush marks that led him to the remote area. The fugitive’s pretrial will now take place on September 16.
[Scroll Down For Video]
Wisconsin police found 44-year-old Jeremiah Button in a remote area in the northern part of the state. Button, who in 2016 was awaiting trial on charges of child sexual assault and child pornography before he disappeared, had created a makeshift bunker that was powered by solar power, CNN reported.
Thomas Nelson was the hunter who discovered the bunker a few months ago. “I followed the brush marks, I saw the door. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough,” he told WSAW-TV.
After letting his curiosity get the best of him, Nelson decided to head back to where the bunker was and investigate further. Once there, Nelson stated the door to the bunker was unlatched. As he proceeded in, he was met by Button.
“I pushed the door open, and I look inside and I can see canned foods, there are little storage boxes, and I’m like…I gotta go in,” he told the television station. “I come around the corner a bit and there he is, laying in his bed.”
It’s unclear if Nelson knew if Button was wanted or not. Nelson aired on the side of caution and informed two officers at Portage County Sheriff’s Department about what he had found. According to Fox News, a brief 20-minute standoff ensued until Button surrendered without incident on August 9.
Sheriff Mike Lucas, who has worked for the department for over 28 years, explained it was the most “bizarre” thing he had ever witnessed.
Button explained to officers that once he had decided he was going to run before the start of his trial, he made trips over multiple days bringing canned goods, a flat-screen tv, amongst other things he would need to survive.
The police report indicated Button had eight solar panels above his bunker that would power his electronics. If he faced a day with a lack of sun, he would operate a pedal-powered generator.
After fleeing to the bunker, Button explained to officers that he never left the area. The bunker also reportedly has multiple entryways and exits so he could take multiple paths in and out of the area.
Button is now back in custody on a $100,000 cash bond.