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Inside "secret hideaway" where police arrested wanted fugitive

Posted at 12:45 PM, Jul 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-19 21:07:46-04

MARATHON COUNTY, Wis. (NBC 26) — In Marathon County, a 44-year-old man, wanted by authorities in Shawano County was arrested earlier this month in a secluded hideout.

According to court records, Shawn Clark was wanted on an active felony warrant for failing to register as a sex offender.

Police say he was discovered in a secret hideaway where he had been living for three months and was arrested on July 11th.

"It's obvious from the sophistication of the establishment that he created that the was making an active effort to avoid going back to jail or avoiding additional charges. As far as the motive behind that? We really don't know," says Lieutenant Cory Gladden with the Marathon County Sheriff's Office.

NBC 26 spoke with the property owner of where Clark was located who says, Clark owns the home next to the hideout. Tom Wahl says the "hideout" was just a fort Clark made with his kids.

"No it wasn't a hideout," says property owner, Tom Wahl. "He told me he's come down here and slept When things go too hot and heavy he'd come out here to cool off, cool down get away."

"He wasn't hiding from nobody," Wahl adds

"When I talked to him. And I'm certain the police sure in hell must have known where he was."

According to the Marathon County land assessment records, Shawn Clark has owned the home next to the "hideout" since 2019.

Walk says Clark would spend time in the fort but lived in the house next door with his wife and children.

According to court records, Clark was found guilty of 1st-degree child sex assault in 2016 and has a criminal history of drug charges related to THC dating back to 1996.

In addition to the felony warrant for a sex offender registration violation in Shawano County, Clark is facing several charges related to the July 11th arrest, including drug and weapons charges.

Clark is currently being held on $1,500 cash bond in Shawano County Jail and will be in court again July 26th.