Florida Body Builder Charged with Killing Ex-Wife and Burning Her Body

Florida bodybuilder Ian Christopher Baunach, 43, of Labelle, Florida is in jail charged with the murder and cremation of his ex-wife Katie Samantha Baunach, 39.

Folks, this story is like something out of a Miami Vice episode. It’s got bodybuilders, steroids, homemade silencers, and federal agents.

Baunach is accused of murdering and cremating his ex-wife after federal investigators say they found bone fragments in a 50-gallon drum on his property that “reeked of decaying flesh.”

On Sept. 30, 2022, Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden received a call from a friend of Katie Samantha Baunach, reporting that she was concerned for her safety. She reported that the night before, Katie had left her two children in her care to go to the home of her former husband Ian Baunach to retrieve some of her personal items. Friends and family had not heard from her nor have been able to reach her on her cell phone.

Prior to her disappearance, Katie accused her ex of physically abusing one of their children and obtained a restraining order, asking the court to send him for counseling.

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“This was the last time Katie Baunach was seen alive,” special agent Gary McKiever with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, wrote in a federal criminal complaint.

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The next day, Hendry County deputies visited Ian Baunach’s home and found Katie’s car parked in the driveway with her purse inside. They couldn’t find either of the Baunach’s, however, and left. When they came back for a second attempt to contact, they found Katie Baunach’s vehicle parked in a different spot, so they went to a judge to swear out search warrant.

When they searched Ian’s house for his missing ex-wife, Deputies allegedly found stockpiles of both steroids and unregistered silencers, which brought in agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. During the search, they also found signs of blood in Ian Baunach’s trunk and other evidence of a physical struggle between the garage doorway and foyer.

They found Katie Baunach’s wedding band and engagement ring, both of which she was allegedly wearing when she dropped off her kids, in a safe. Deputies also found several unregistered silencers in the safe, and throughout the home deputies found firearms with threaded barrels. And finally, Deputies found 13 vials of steroids. Due to the amount of evidence found, the search lasted four days.

Ian Baunach waived his Miranda rights and told detectives that his ex-wife showed up at his house, and they got into an argument over another woman. He said he “went to sleep because he did not want to argue, and when he woke up, Katie Baunach was gone.”

Baunach did not believe detectives when they asked about the blood found inside the house, and when asked about a broken mirror found, he stated he bumped into it a broke it.

During the interview Baunach stated “They did not have a body” of Katie Baunach and disputed she was actually a missing person. Folks! That’s what law enforcement calls a “Clue.”

On October 1st officer searched the exterior grounds of the property and found an intact mandible as well as an intact tooth in a fresh burn pile, a fifty five gallon barrel that “reeked of decaying flesh,” and bone fragments in the barrel and on the ground. Ian Baunach burned his wife’s corpse to get rid of the evidence.

The Hendry County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit charged Ian Christopher Baunach with 1st degree pre-meditated murder, destruction/conceal physical evidence, use of two-way communication device to facilitate a felony, cremate dead body 48 hours after death and failure to report death to medical examiner.

Baunach is also being charged federally with possession of an unregistered firearm according to the criminal complaint filed in Tampa. During the search of the home, officers found homemade oil filter silencers as well as solvent trap silencers.

Baunach is currently being held in the Hendry County Jail with no bond.


Additional stories you may want to read:

Florida Man Pulls Off Bank Robbery With Finger Gun

Florida Postal Worker Indicted for Trafficking in Cocaine

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