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Inside a Child Sex Predator Lair: Secret Rooms, Sex Toys, Stuffed Animals

From the sidewalk, the gray-colored, two-story home on Harman Street looks like just about any other in Melvindale, Mich., a quiet hamlet of 10,700  in suburban Detroit.

But inside, federal investigators say, the home holds secrets so shocking and nefarious that even seasoned investigators found themselves struggling to come to terms with what they glimpsed beyond the front door.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Andrew Arena, executive director of the Detroit Crime Commission and former special agent in charge of the FBI’s Detroit office, told the Detroit News. “This is Addams Family-type stuff.”

What Arena and other investigators have seen is a 1,700-square-foot abode transformed into a functioning child pornography compound that included secret passageways, hidden chambers and specially designed bedrooms for children. Those rooms contained sex toys, condoms, restraints and stuffed animals wearing women’s lingerie,according to the Detroit Free Press.

Behind a false wall and underneath a stairwell, the Detroit News reported, officers found another room that held a surveillance hub outfitted with computers and monitors that controlled dozens of closed-circuit cameras inside and outside the home.

The residence belonged to Charles Miller, a 59-year-old convicted drug dealer with electrical engineering and science degrees, which may explain the elaborate effort to conceal the structure’s many secrets, according to the newspaper.

Investigators were drawn to a mirror hanging in the first-floor hallway. Near the mirror was what appeared to be a regular electrical outlet. This outlet had a hinge. Police swung open the outlet and found a hidden button. Investigators pushed the button, which opened a neighboring closet door. The closet held two wires that, when connected, opened a panel hidden behind a mirror. Inside, investigators found the assault rifle, a shotgun, two stun guns and ammunition, according to court records.

Authorities discovered Miller’s sordid lair, as well as nearly 2,000 child pornography images and videos, when they raided his home in 2013, according to the Detroit News. The raid was launched after an informant buying prescription drugs from Miller spotted multiple handguns inside the home; Miller is prohibited from owning guns due to an earlier conviction, FBI Special Agent Karl Haws told the newspaper.

Among the photos were nude images of two local girls, ages 7 and 10, according to the Free Press.

The children’s mother told police that her daughters spent occasional weekends at the home, according to an affidavit filed by Haws and reported by the Free Press.

The girls told investigators that Miller had coached them into posing for him, according to the Free Press.

A neighbor, who asked not to be identified, called Miller “very creepy” and said he asked on several occasions if the woman’s daughter could accompany him to a local carnival, according to ABC affiliate WXYZ. She declined his offer.

“He used to walk around in a jumpsuit with no shirt on,” she told the station. “He was just weird.”

After pleading guilty to child-porn production and possession in January, Miller faces up to 50 years in prison, the News reported. He is also set to stand trial later this month for criminal sexual conduct charges involving the two girls whose photos were found on the Nikon camera.

Reached by phone, Miller’s lawyer, Penny Beardslee, declined to comment to The Washington Post.

[‘Nice guy’ wrestling coach had child porn, pot farm and guns at his N.J. home, police say]

After Miller’s arrest, he gave his home to his son, Arthur Miller, 31, according to the Detroit News.

Following a lead, the News reported, police raided the home in March and located pornographic images of a third girl on an electronic storage device in Arthur Miller’s computer bag.

Court records reveal that Miller told investigators he found the device in the home and was planning to inform police about the images, according to court records reported by the News.

The 31-year-old has been charged with receiving and possessing child pornography and is being held without bond. His lawyer, Michael McCarthy, did not immediately respond to request for comment.

The home, complete with hidden rooms and false doors, has been on the market for $77,200 since February. A sign posted outside the house warns of recording devices, according to WXYZ.

“Come check out this unique home that includes a false wall and pop out mirror that will make you feel like you just came out of a mystery novel,” See the listing here:,-MELVINDALE,-MI-_rb/

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