A hulking former Marine allegedly killed his ex-wife when she stopped by his Florida home to pick up her belongings — then destroyed her remains, which were found scattered in a “burn pile” on his property.
Ian Christopher Baunach, 43, of LaBelle, pled not guilty in Tampa federal court Monday to first-degree murder charges in the gruesome death of Katie Baunach, the 39-year-old mom of his two children, the Daily Beast reported.
Last month, Katie reportedly obtained a restraining order against the former bodybuilder for allegedly abusing one of the kids.
She was last seen on Sept. 29 when she told a friend she was going over to pick up a few belongings at Ian’s home and would return immediately, according to the outlet.
“This was the last time Katie Baunach was seen alive,” according to a criminal complaint cited by the outlet.
When police went to investigate at Ian’s property the next day, they noticed that her car was parked in his driveway with her purse still inside, but the former bodybuilder was not there.
When the cops returned a short while later, they noticed that her car had been moved to the street.
Ian refused to allow the officers inside so they obtained a search warrant to search the premises of the alleged killer, who was arrested in November 2021 on charges of domestic battery by strangulation.
He was sprung on $25,000 bond and the charges were dropped in January.
Once inside the man’s home the officers detected “signs of a physical struggle” so they sprayed his car’s trunk with luminol, “a chemical that reacts to the presence of blood by glowing blue,” the document states.
“The interior of Baunach’s vehicle trunk glowed blue after law enforcement applied the luminol,” according to the complaint cited by the Daily Beast.
They then applied the chemical inside Ian’s home, where it showed the presence of blood in various locations, the complaint continues.
Katie’s engagement ring and wedding band, which she had been wearing the day before, were found inside a safe, according to the document.
The cops then made a horrifying discovery – “the fragment of a human mandible with an intact tooth in a fresh burn pile,” as well as a 50-gallon barrel near a “burn pile which reeked of decaying flesh.”
They found other bone fragments strewn about, including in the blue container, officials said.
Despite the gut-churning evidence, Ian denied killing his ex-wife and claimed they had only argued “over another woman” before he went to bed and that she had left by the time he awoke.
He also insisted that the blood in his car came from “groceries he had transported,” the complaint states.
“When asked about the blood found inside the Premises, Baunach stated that he did not believe the officers,” and blamed a broken mirror on having “bumped into it while walking down the hall.”
The pumped-up suspect also told the officers that they “did not have a body” – so Katie was not “actually a missing person.”
Meanwhile, police found a part from an AR-15 assault rifle, 13 silencers and a .40-caliber Glock handgun inside the home. Ian also was reportedly carrying another pistol at the time of his arrest.
He was charged with first-degree murder and failure to report a death to the medical examiner – as well as a dozen counts of possession of controlled substances without a prescription for steroids.
Ian has only “admitted to being angry that Katie Baunach filed for and received a domestic violence injunction against him.”