A Florida body builder is accused of killing his ex-wife, taking her wedding band and engagement ring, and then burning her body and hiding the remains on his five-acre property.
Ian Baunach, 43, has been charged with pre-meditated murder, destruction of physical evidence, use of a two-way communication device to facilitate a felony, cremating a dead body 48 hours after death, and failure to report a death, WINK reported.
A search warrant of Baunach’s home also uncovered unprescribed steroids and unregistered firearm silencers. He was charged with 12 counts of possession of controlled substances without a prescription and a federal charge of possessing the silencers.
The case began on September 29 when Katie Baunach, 39, dropped her two children off at a friend’s home, saying her ex-husband told her she could come over and pick up belongings from his house. When she hadn’t returned by the next day, the friend contacted police.
The Hendry County Sheriff’s Office sent a patrol car to Ian Baunach’s home, where they saw Katie Baunach’s vehicle parked in the driveway, with her purse inside, according to the federal complaint filed in the firearms case. The deputy was unable to make contact with anyone inside and left. He returned 45 minutes later to find the missing woman’s car out of the driveway and parked on the street.
Deputies secured a search warrant for the home and returned. While executing that search, they “discovered evidence that a homicide had occurred there,” but they found no sign of Katie Baunach. They applied for a second search warrant to include Baunach’s five acres, but when they returned, Baunach tried to keep them out, WINK said.
During the second search, they sprayed luminol, a chemical that will glow under a black light in the presence of blood, in several locations, including the trunk of Baunach’s car and a hallway. They found blood and found broken household items indicated signs of a struggle in the hallway. In a safe inside Baunach’s office, they found Katie Baunach’s wedding ring and engagement ring and the illegal silencers. Multiple weapons were also found on the premises.
Deputies interviewed Baunach the following day, when he denied any knowledge of what happened to his ex-wife. He said she came over, they argued, and he went to bed to avoid escalating. When he awoke, she was gone. He admitted moving her vehicle. When investigators told him about the blood, he said the blood in his car was from groceries, and he accused the detectives of lying about the blood in the house. He also told the investigators “they did not have a body” and said Katie Baunach probably wasn’t even missing.
He admitted having the silencers but denied they were silencers.
Later that day, deputies found a fragment of a human mandible with an intact took in a burn pile and a blue, 50-gallon drum nearby that “reeked of decaying flesh.” Inside the drum, they found another partial human bone, along with other suspected human bones around the burn pile.
The medical examiner determined the remains belonged to Katie Baunach and arrested her ex-husband on Monday. He is being held without bond.
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[Featured image: Katie Baunach, left, and Ian Baunach/Facebook]