Ian Christopher Baunach, 43, of LaBelle, Florida, was arraigned on Monday on first-degree murder charges in the death of his ex-wife Katie Baunach, on Sept 29
The Florida bodybuilder, a former US Marine, was arrested after he allegedly, killed and ‘incinerated his ex-wife went she over to his house to pick up her belongings,’ on his invitation
Katie Baunach, 39, was last seen alive on September 29, leaving their two children with friends and saying she was going to see her ex-husband and collect some things
Worried friends called the police the following day, and they investigated his Tampa home – Her car was parked outside
They obtained a warrant when Baunach refused to allow grant them access
Inside the suspect’s home they found traces of blood, evidence of a struggle, guns and silencers, and human remains in a burnt-out oil drum on the property
Cops found her jawbone and tooth in a fresh burn pile in his backyard
Katie Baunach’s engagement ring and wedding rings were found inside a safe, along with an AR-15 upper receiver and 13 silencers
If convicted on the state charge of first-degree murder, Baunach faces life in prison or the death penalty
A Florida based bodybuilder and former US Marine has been accused of murdering his ex-wife when she visited him to collect some of her things. Ian Christopher Baunach allegedly, then burn Katie Baunach’s her body in an oil drum in the back yard.
Ian Baunach, 43, appeared in court in Tampa on Monday and pled not guilty to killing his estranged wife, 39-year-old Katie, with whom he shared two children.
In November 2021, Baunach, a former Marine who retrained as an engineer, was arrested on charges of domestic battery by strangulation, and was released the same day on $25,000 bond.
Ten months later, in September this year, Katie Baunach took out a restraining order against him, accusing him of abusing one of their children.
The mother-of-two was last seen on September 29 when she left her children with a friend, who she told that her ex had said she could come over to ‘retrieve some of her personal items.’
Katie Baunach told the friend baby-sitting her kids she’d be right back, but never returned.
Police were called and on September 30 went to his home in LaBelle, 30 miles inland of Fort Myers, only to find that he was not home. His missing ex-wife’s car was parked outside.
Returning shortly after Baunach had refused to let them in. Realizing the car had been moved, officers obtained a warrant to search the property. Detectives found evidence of a struggle and blood stains inside the house, which he claimed were from groceries.
The also found Katie Baunach’s engagement ring and wedding rings inside a safe, along with an AR-15 upper receiver and 13 silencers in the safe A a Glock Model 27 .40 caliber pistol inside a plastic bag was found on a bookshelf, according to the complaint.
There were three rifles and a shotgun in an attic above the garage, and Baunach had another .40 caliber Glock on his person.
Complimenting the trove of evidence, the officers then found human remains on the property.
According to court documents, they ‘discovered the fragment of a human mandible with an intact tooth in a fresh burn pile, and discovered a blue fifty-gallon barrel near the burn pile which reeked of decaying flesh.
‘Inside the blue fifty-gallon barrel, law enforcement discovered an additional human bone fragment. Law enforcement discovered other suspected human bone fragments in the area surrounding the burn pile.’
Baunach denied killing his ex-wife, and told them there was no body and she had disappeared.
He admitted to getting into an argument with her, which he was was ‘over another woman’.
Baunach ‘admitted to being angry that Katie Baunach filed for and received a domestic violence injunction against him.’
He claimed he went to sleep, and by the time he woke up in the morning she had gone.
He said he then moved her car to the street.
‘When asked about the blood found inside the Premises, Baunach stated that he did not believe the officers.’
Baunach was taken into custody and charged with first-degree pre-meditated murder; destruction/concealment of physical evidence, and cremating a dead body 48 hours after death.
If convicted of first-degree murder he faces life in prison, or the death penalty.