Arizona sex offender who hid in desert for 107 days sentenced to 25 years behind bars
PHOENIX — A 42-year-old man who was accused of sexual contact with a minor and hid for more than 107 days in the desert before being arrested has been sentenced to 25 years in prison, authorities said.
David Whitaker of Red Rock agreed to a plea deal Wednesday for the charge, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.
Whitaker fled his residence in November 2020 and walked into the desert with a handgun as deputies were on the way to his house after receiving the accusation he had sexual contact with a 13-year-old girl, authorities said.
The known survivalist was found in March 2021 in a shack with a bed and a roof he had constructed, authorities said.
He survived more than three months by catching fish out of a canal and hunting javelina and rabbit.
“To those who commit crimes and believe the repercussions can be avoided, as your Sheriff, know what we will not give up on bringing you to justice,” Sheriff Mark Lamb said in the post.
Whitaker was credited 310 days for time served, authorities said.