It was the talk among hikers at Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington state.
For years, stories swirled of a gingerbread treehouse that stood eight feet off the ground somewhere in a remote and wooded area within the park, according to The Seattle Times. One worker at the state Department of Natural Resources kept looking for the mystical house, which was illegally constructed, but five searches brought no such luck.
The man’s sixth search brought him to the treehouse and the shocking images inside in November 2016, according to KING5. Police allege that inside the house — adorned with a porch, front door and windows — there were framed pictures of child pornography strewn upon the walls and more images of naked girls inside an envelope.
The pictured girls were as young as 8 years old, police allege, and featured “fairy-like figures or what appeared to be young girls.” The Seattle Times reported that a bed, clothing, dishes, food and candles were inside the secluded shelter.
That state employee alerted the King County Sheriff’s Office, which launched an investigation into the “gingerbread treehouse,” according to Q13 Fox. In April, detectives talked to a search-and-rescue volunteer in the park, police allege, and he said he saw a car parked next to the treehouse on multiple occasions.
He even remembered the Toyota FJ Cruiser’s license plate, Q13 reported, and officers say they used it to find the house of 56-year-old Daniel Wood.
Officers monitored Wood at his residence, where they collected DNA samples from his BMW motorcycle out front and a paper cup he had been drinking from in August. Those samples were compared with other DNA samples found within the treehouse, according to The Seattle Times. Police allege that they matched Wood’s DNA to the treehouse, and authorities searched the man’s house in February.
They found pictures of the wooded cabin and a memory card with “thousands of images of child erotica and child pornography,” police alleged to The Seattle Times, while other pictures showed the inside of the cabin and the surrounding area.
Cops say they found some pictures that showed two young girls naked in the treehouse, too. Woods faces charges of child pornography, according to Q13 Fox, and was ordered to avoid contact with minors as he awaits his March 26 court date.