Ian Christopher Baunach: Former marine charged with killing ex-wife and setting her body on fire

Ian Christopher Baunach: Former marine charged with killing ex-wife and setting her body on fire
Ian Christopher Baunach, 43, is suspected of killing his ex-wife Katie Baunach (Ian Baunach/Facebook)

CONTENT WARNING: This article contains distressing information. Readers' discretion is advised.

LABELLE, FLORIDA: A former marine and bodybuilder is suspected of killing his ex-wife and setting her body on fire in an oil drum in his backyard. In court in Tampa on Monday, October 11, Ian Christopher Baunach, 43, entered a not-guilty plea for the murder of 39-year-old Katie Baunach, his two children's mother. Baunach, a former marine and engineer, was charged with domestic battery by strangulation in November 2021 and released the same day on a $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. She was last seen on September 29 when she left her two children with a friend, saying Baunach had said she could come over to retrieve some of her personal items. She promised to return right away to the friend, but she never did. Police were informed, and they rushed to Baunach’s LaBelle, Florida home on September 30, only to discover that he was not there. However, they found Katie’s car outside his home. 

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When they returned to his home after a while, the officers noticed the car had been relocated, and after Baunach refused to let them inside, they acquired a warrant to examine the premises. Detectives discovered blood stains and signs of a struggle inside the home, which he said were caused by groceries. The wedding and engagement rings of Katie Baunach were also discovered in a safe. According to the complaint, officers also found 13 silencers, an AR-15 upper receiver, and a Glock Model 27.40 mm pistol concealed inside a plastic bag on a bookcase.

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There were three rifles and a shotgun in the attic over the garage, and Baunach also had another. He reportedly had a 40-caliber Glock on him. The officers also found human remains outside his home. According to Daily Mail, the court documents revealed that the officers “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.”

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He acknowledged that he had a disagreement with her, about another woman. Baunach also admitted to being angry that Katie 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 was gone. He claimed to have relocated her car to the street after that. Baunach also stated that he does not trust the officers when questioned about the blood found inside the premises. After being apprehended, Baunach was charged with first-degree premeditated murder, concealing/destroying physical evidence, and cremating a body 48 hours after death. He could receive the death penalty or life in prison if found guilty of first-degree murder.

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