By the Associated Press via the Daily Mall
Police have launched a nationwide manhunt for the owner of an Idaho farmhouse where the badly decomposed bodies of three slain women were discovered earlier this week.
Gerald Michael ‘Mike’ Bullinger, 60, is a suspect in the three murders and has been charged with failing to report the deaths after the bodies were found by authorities on Monday at the home in Caldwell.
Bullinger was last seen in Ogden, Utah about 10 days ago.
‘We would consider him armed and dangerous at this time,’ Canyon County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Marv Dashiell said on Wednesday.
‘If someone does come into contact with him or observe him, we request that they contact local law enforcement immediately.’
Bullinger, a pilot, had purchased the Idaho farmhouse last month with his wife, 57-year-old Cheryl Baker.
The couple were in the process of moving to Idaho from Utah when one of Bullinger’s relatives called police to ask for a welfare check, saying the family hadn’t been heard from for a few days.
(Learn More, courtesy of Idaho News on Demand and YouTube)
The sheriff’s deputy responding to the home noticed signs that something was amiss and so began looking around the tiny farmhouse and wooded lot.
A sheriff’s deputy found the decomposed bodies at the property on Monday after family members called police to ask for a welfare check, saying Bullinger and his wife Cheryl Baker hadn’t been heard from for a few days
That’s when the deputy discovered a gruesome scene: A shed on the property held three badly decomposed bodies, each laying side-by-side and hidden under some sort of covering.
Several dead birds and dogs – likely family pets – were also found on the property, and other living animals including a snake, rat and some rabbits were removed during the subsequent investigation.
At first, investigators couldn’t determine the gender of the bodies or what killed them, but autopsies completed Tuesday revealed that the three women had each been shot once.
The women ranged in age from mid-teens to late 50s, and their ages and statures matched the description of people thought to have been living at the home.
Dashiell said investigators are working with family members to try to positively identify the bodies using DNA or other forensics.
The women had been dead for one to two weeks before their remains were found.
Police are actively seeking Bullinger and believe he may be driving a white 2007 Ford Focus with Utah license plates numbered 129UMP.
He is about 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weighs an estimated 240 pounds, with gray hair and brown eyes.
(Learn More, courtesy of Idaho On Your Side and YouTube)
Canyon County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Marv Dashiell said on Wednesday the women had been dead for one to two weeks before their remains were found
Baker’s brother, Byron Baker, told the Idaho Statesman newspaper that family members became concerned because they hadn’t heard from them during their move to Idaho.
Byron said he thought the couple lived alone and was unsure who anyone else at the home might be.
‘I just don’t know what to believe,’ he told the Idaho Statesman on Tuesday.’
‘There are four people involved here. Three bodies and someone who covered the bodies.’
He also described a strange text his sister had sent to a close friend in Utah around June 11, which read: ‘Take care of my dogs. I don’t know if I’m coming back.’
Cheryl Baker had just retired from her job as an art teacher at GreenWood Charter School in Harrisville, Utah, and Bullinger was a pilot with Classic Aviations Service in Utah before taking on contract work in Idaho.
Neighbors of the Caldwell home reported hearing a gunshot or other noises about 10 days ago, but gunshots aren’t uncommon in the rural area where many avid hunters and target shooters live.
One neighbor, Cindy Morrison, said she heard a loud scream early one morning sometime around June 6 to June 10, but wasn’t sure at the time whether it was an animal or a woman who made the noise. She didn’t hear anything else and opted not to call police.