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Wisconsin Fugitive Survives 3 Years in Bunker - Carlos Gamino
News from Attorney Carlos Gamino

Wisconsin Fugitive Survives 3 Years in Bunker

By Carlos Gamino

Authorities in Ringle, Wisconsin found a fugitive living in a woodland bunker, where he’d apparently been hiding for more than 3 years to duck child sexual assault and child pornography charges. Several months ago, a hunter – Thomas Nelson of Wasau – discovered the bunker accidentally. Nelson spotted a wooden door carved into an embankment, tested it, and found that it was unlocked; inside, 44-year-old Jeremiah Button was hiding.

“I pushed the door open, and I look inside and I can see canned foods, there's little storage boxes, and I'm like... I gotta go in,” Nelson said. “I come around the corner a bit and there he is, laying in his bed. I mean, I was shaking when I went in, I was shaking when I went out.”

The bunker had solar panels that powered LED lights, fans, radios and other electronic equipment, and Button also had a pedal-powered generator inside. 

Nelson then called the police, giving them directions to the bunker. Button and police engaged in a 20-minute standoff before Button surrendered.

Button disappeared in 2017, two weeks before he was supposed to stand trial on sexual assault charges. He said his parents had paid his initial bail, and he immediately went to work building the bunker in the woods because he planned to hide there.

The bunker, located near the Ice Age Trail on state land in Ringle, was protected by thickened underbrush that Button carefully crafted. 

When Button surrendered, he wanted to talk, according to Deputy Matt Kecker.

“He told us that he was wanted through Portage County for numerous warrants,” Kecker said. The deputy also said that Button immediately explained how he’d survived the seasons in the bunker.

What Do You Think?

Have you been following this case? Do you remember when Button disappeared? I’d love to hear what you think about this, so please share your thoughts on either of my social media pages:


Carlos Gamino