A tree house gingerbread-style cabin in the Snoqualmie National Forest has been constructed for at least seven years and was found to contain child pornography in November 2016. Photo courtesy of King County Sheriff’s Office

A tree house gingerbread-style cabin in the Snoqualmie National Forest has been constructed for at least seven years and was found to contain child pornography in November 2016. Photo courtesy of King County Sheriff’s Office

Snoqualmie National Forest Tree House Contained Child Porn

A man has been charged after images of children posing as fairies were found in the illegal cabin.

An elaborate fairy or gingerbread-style tree house in the middle of Snoqualmie National Forest has long been an unusual landmark destination for some hikers.

But for a man who used it regularly, the FBI says, it was a place to store child pornography.

That man, prosecutors believe, is Daniel Mason Wood, 56, of Mill Creek.

On March 12, after more than a year of FBI investigation and DNA analysis, King County Superior Court prosecutors charged Wood with two counts of possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct in the first and second degree. There is currently a summons requesting Wood to appear in court.

According to charging documents, the investigation began on Nov. 20, 2016, when an employee of the Department of Natural Resources reported to the King County Sheriff’s Office he’d found an illegally built cabin on federal land eight miles up Southeast Middle Fork Road in the Snoqualmie National Forest.

Upon finding the cabin, he looked inside and saw photos of what appeared to be child pornography on the walls.

“The DNR employee reported the structure had been known by Forest Service employees for approximately seven years,” the charging documents state. “The Forest Service employees reported that the last time the cabin had been examined by federal forest personnel, was approximately 2-3 years ago. At that time, there were no images in the cabin.”

The DNR employee had heard rumors in the hiking community of the cabin, however, and he wanted to check it out. After he found it, and the images, on Nov. 18, 2016, he confiscated some of the images to show local law enforcement. The employee and a King County Sheriff’s Office detective went to the cabin, which was built 8 feet off the ground, had a porch around the structure, a front door, windows, a pitched roof, and a ladder from the ground to the porch. Various items, such as a bed, candles, dishes, clothing, books, an electronic keyboard, food, and dishes were inside.

But on each wall were framed pictures of young girls 8-12 years old posing as fairies. Two photos showed girls standing naked facing the camera. Inside the cabin, the detective and DNR employee found an envelope that contained more images of naked children. On Nov. 30, 2016, the Seattle FBI took over for further investigation.

In early April 2017, the FBI conducted a search of the cabin and confiscated more images and items that would contain latent prints or DNA samples. Days later, the FBI interviewed a search and rescue volunteer and hiker who said he’d heard rumors of the cabin and tried to find it on his own. He told detectives he’d been to the cabin multiple times and had most recently seen a Toyota FJ Cruiser with a specific license plate number he revealed to detectives.

As DNA and prints were sent to a lab for analysis, the FBI learned Wood owned the Toyota FJ Cruiser and began physical surveillance on Wood at his home in Mill Creek. They collected DNA from his motorcycle handlebars, from his motorcycle storage box, and from a disposable paper cup he left behind one day. Although no matches were found for the prints collected at the cabin, on Oct. 12, 2017, the lab determined the DNA from the paper cup matched DNA found in the cabin.

On Feb. 12 of this year, detectives searched Wood’s home with a search warrant and seized “several digital items.” Nearly a month later on March 5, a special agent with the FBI reviewed the evidence that was taken and found thousands of graphic “child erotica and child pornography.”

The agents also found images of the fairy-like cabin in the woods.

Wood is scheduled to be arraigned March 26 at King County District Court.

A version of this story first appeared in the Snoqualmie Valley Record.

The cabin is located 8 miles up Southeast Middle Fork Road and is known within the hiking community. Photo courtesy of King County Sheriff’s Office

The cabin is located 8 miles up Southeast Middle Fork Road and is known within the hiking community. Photo courtesy of King County Sheriff’s Office

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