PRAIRIE DU CHIEN - The Milwaukee pair, who set up residence at the Kickapoo Indian Caverns earlier this year, were seen in Crawford County Circuit Court last Wednesday, July 5.
Brandon Wantroba, 20, and Elizabeth Perry-Rydz, 36 both face misdemeanor charges for entry into a building following their arrest at the Kickapoo Indian Caverns in Wauzeka in May.
Wantroba and Perry-Rydz indicated that they had planned to takeover the caves via adverse possession and rename it ‘Silent Grove.’
At a May 22 hearing, Wantroba stood mute in front of the court and a not guilty plea was entered for him. During his appearance last Wednesday, his jury status hearing was carried forward for September 6 at 10:30 a.m.
Perry-Rydz pleaded not guilty in May to the charge against her, but was without legal representation at the time. During her appearance last Wednesday, local attorney Daniel Key represented her. According to the Crawford County Clerk of Courts her attorney indicated that she would be changing her not guilty plea, but at this time it remains in place.
Perry-Rydz has a plea/sentencing hearing on September 18 at 1:30 p.m.
The historic site the pair attempted to takeover was once used by Wisconsin’s Native Tribes and opened up for tours in 1947. A popular tourist destination until 20ll, the cave’s former owner, Delores Gaidowski, died in 2014. Her family put the property up for sale on the internet. The doors were locked, but many of the original relics and gift shop items remained locked away, until Perry-Rydz and Wantroba paid a visit.
The Milwaukee couple allegedly found the site on the internet and thought it would be a good place to survive a nuclear attack or some other uncertain future that lie ahead.