HENDRY COUNTY, Fla. (TCD) -- A 43-year-old bodybuilder was arrested and charged after his 39-year-old ex-wife’s remains were discovered in a burn pile on his property.
According to a news release from the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office, on Friday, Sept. 30, one of Katie Baunach’s friends reported that she had left her two children in her care to go to the home of her ex-husband, Ian Baunach, to gather some of her personal belongings. The friend was concerned for Katie Baunach’s safety and said friends and family had not heard from the mother, nor were they able to contact her.
The Sheriff’s Office obtained a search warrant for the home and found a "large number of steroids," which Ian admitted belonged to him.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, Ian was initially arrested and charged with 13 counts of possession of controlled substance without a prescription. Authorities reportedly obtained a second search warrant for the bodybuilder’s home because they had not located his ex-wife.
In the hallway between the garage and home foyer, authorities discovered "signs of a physical struggle" with wall damage and a broken wall-mounted mirror in an office, NBC News reports. The victim’s wedding band and engagement ring were reportedly found in a safe, and officers believed she was wearing the rings when she left her friend’s home on Sept. 29.
In the attic above the garage, investigators also found multiple weapons, including an AR-15 rifle upper receiver, 13 silencers of various configurations, two Glock pistols, three rifles and a shotgun, NBC News reports.
According to the complaint obtained by NBC News, investigators located "the fragments of a human mandible with an intact tooth in a fresh burn pile" as well as a blue 50-gallon barrel nearby that emitted a strong odor of "decaying flesh."
Officers allegedly discovered human bone fragment inside the barrel and suspected human bone fragments around the burn pile. The Sheriff’s Office said detectives determined the remains were those of Katie Baunach.
On Oct. 10, the Sheriff’s Office said Ian Baunach was charged with first-degree premeditated murder, destruction/conceal physical evidence, use of two-way communication to facilitate a felony, cremate dead body 48 hours after death, and failure to report death to medical examiner. He remains held in the Hendry County Jail without bond.
Prior to the victim’s death, Katie Baunach reported that her ex-husband had physically abused one of her children, according to the complaint obtained by NBC News.