A Florida man is accused of killing his ex-wife when she stopped by his house to retrieve some of her belongings, then cremating her body after recovering her wedding band and engagement ring. , according to federal.
Days later, detectives said they had found a human jawbone – with a tooth still attached – in a “burnt pile” on his five-acre property.
The gruesome new details were revealed in an unsealed criminal complaint Tuesday in Tampa federal court, charge Ian Christopher Baunach with possession of 13 unregistered gun silencers. Baunach, 43 years old, was sorted second for first-degree murder in the death of Katie Baunach, 39, along with charges including failure to report the death to a medical examiner and 12 counts of possession of controlled substances without a prescription, because a steroid cache is believed to have been found in Baunach’s house.
Baunach remains incarcerated at the Hendry County Jail, according to booking records. He has no attorney listed in court filings and could not be reached for comment on Tuesday. On social media, Baunach, an avid bodybuilder, claims to be a former Marine who attended Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University.
The case against Baunach can be traced back to the morning of September 30, when a friend of Katie’s reported her missing. Earlier this month, Katie applied for and received a restraining order against Baunach for allegedly abusing one of their two children, the federal lawsuit says. Last November, Baunach was arrested for strangling a battery in a home, and was released the same day on $25,000 bond, prison records show. Prosecutors did not pursue the case and charges were dropped in January 2022.
Katie left the estranged couple’s children with a friend around 9 p.m. on September 29, according to the lawsuit. She told the unidentified friend that Baunach said she might come “to get some of her personal items,” and that she would be back.
“This was the last time Katie Baunach was seen alive,” the complaint reads.
The next day, the sheriff was at Baunach’s house looking for Katie. Officers saw her car parked in the driveway with the purse inside, according to the complaint. But Baunach was not at home, and the police left.
They stopped by a short time later, and noticed that Katie’s car had been moved and was now parked on the street. Baunach is now at home, but the driveway entrance is locked and the agitated Baunach will not let his deputies in, according to the sheriff’s office. So they applied for a warrant and entered Baunach’s residence around 1 p.m., the lawsuit states.
Once inside, police found what they believe is evidence of a murder, according to the lawsuit.
Detectives searched Baunach’s vehicle, which was parked in the attached garage, and sprayed the trunk with a luminescent agent, which the lawsuit describes as “a chemical substance that reacts to the presence of blood by emitting light blue”.
“The interior of Baunach’s trunk glowed blue after law enforcement applied a luminescent agent,” according to the complaint.
A hallway connecting the garage to the home’s foyer shows “signs of a physical struggle,” the complaint continued. One of the walls appeared to have been damaged, and officers saw exposed screws where a broken mirror had once been attached.
“Law enforcement treated the area with a luminescent that once again glowed blue indicating the presence of blood in the previously described hallway,” the complaint continued. “The luminant also reacted and on the wall adjacent to the office door and on the office doorframe. Law enforcement discovered a large surface area on three different walls of the Facility that glowed blue when treated with luminescence.”
In an office in the adjoining home, police found a safe that “contains Katie Baunach’s wedding and engagement ring,” which officers say she had worn when she left her friend’s house the night before. . Officers also found an upper AR-15 receiver and 13 silencers in the safe, along with a Glock Model 27.40-caliber pistol inside a plastic bag on a bookshelf, according to the lawsuit. There were three rifles and a shotgun in the attic above the garage, and Baunach had another 40-caliber Glock on him.
During a broader search of the property, police “discovered the fragment of a person with intact teeth in the fresh burns and discovered a 50-gallon barrel of blue wine near the burns reeked of burning flesh.” rotting,” the complaint states. “Inside the blue 50-gallon barrel, law enforcement discovered an additional human bone fragment. Law enforcement discovered other suspected human bone fragments in the area around the burning pile.”
However, Baunach denied everything when confronted by the police.
He told detectives that Katie had contacted him a few nights earlier, saying she needed gas for her car. When she arrived, the two got into an argument “for another woman,” the complaint reads. Baunach claimed he “didn’t want to argue” and went to bed. When she woke up, Katie was gone, Baunach insisted that he then moved her car out onto the street.
Investigators told Baunach they discovered blood in the trunk of his vehicle, which he blamed on “gross he shipped,” according to the lawsuit.
“When asked about the bloodstain found inside the Flat, Baunach said he didn’t trust the officers,” it said, adding that Baunach blamed the broken mirror for having “hit it while walking down. lobby.” Baunach also said Katie was not “really a missing person”, and told police they had “no body.”
Baunach owns title to the silencers found in his home, but “disputes that they are indeed silencers,” according to the complaint.
As for any malice against his ex, the lawsuit states that Baunach “admits to being angry that Katie Baunach filed and received an order to charge him domestic violence.”
Each federal crime that Baunach is charged with carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. If convicted of first degree murder, Baunach face life in prison or the death penalty.