NORTH BEND, Washington - The public got its first view Monday of a bunker that an accused murderer hid in last weekend, as KIRO 7 cameras were given a tour of the elaborate hideout.
Police have said they believe Peter A. Keller killed himself as SWAT teams moved in on the fort Friday. Keller had been charged in the deaths of his wife and daughter at their North Bend home last week.
The bunker, located near Rattlesnake Lake, is far away from any established trail and sits deep in the woods on a ridge overlooking North Bend. Police said Keller spent eight years building it.
Inside the bunker, KIRO 7 reporter Chris Legeros could still hear erosion coming from the hillside above. A couple timbers used to hold the bunker together had been removed, and down below were two-and-a-half levels of living space.
The stench of tear gas was still in the air, too, left over from when police dropped canisters inside in an effort to ferret Keller out.
Officers had removed weapons and ammunition they said Keller stockpiled in the bunker, but food supplies were still inside, along with a crude electrical system that was apparently connected to a generator, and piping for water. Canisters of propane and charcoal lighter fuel were scattered about. A stove featured a smokestack that came up through the roof of the bunker.
“Our goal right now, though, is to get this cleaned up as best we can, get this demolished, restored, so that it’s no longer a hazard,” said Doug Williams with the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks. “I mean, if you took the wrong step, you’d fall 20 feet straight down.”
Police said Keller sawed heavy timbers by hand and used pulleys to carry some of them to his bunker, where he bolted or nailed them together.
The state and county now share the responsibility of demolishing the bunker to it won’t be a hazard to hikers who might find it.