JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Searchers in northwest Wyoming are looking again for a Utah man who is missing but presumed dead after being suspected of killing his wife, another woman and a 14-year-old girl in Idaho last year.
Authorities believe Mike Bullinger has died in a remote area of the Bridger-Teton National Forest but can only prove it if his remains are found and identified through DNA. They have searched the area before, when a car connected to Bullinger was found at a remote campsite.
Teton County sheriff’s Sgt. Todd Stanyon said the search being done Tuesday and Wednesday is considered a follow-up to recover either a body or evidence.
The Jackson Hole News & Guide first reported on the new search.
About 18 members of the sheriff’s department and U.S. Marshals Service were searching on foot, focusing on established trails and in the general area where they had looked a year ago, Stanyon said. They were not going too far into the backcountry.
“It’s a huge expanse up there, tough terrain,” he said.
As an outfitter, Bullinger had knowledge of backcountry survival, but Stanyon said it was “far-fetched” that someone could have survived alone for a year in the remote area.
The bodies of Bullinger’s wife, Cheryl Baker, 56; Nadja Medley, 48; and her 14-year-old daughter, Peyton, were found in June 2017 in a shed outside the couple’s Caldwell, Idaho, home. All three, who were from Ogden, Utah, had been shot.
Bullinger and Baker had just bought the Idaho home the month before, and the couple was moving there from Utah when one of Bullinger’s relatives called police to ask for a welfare check, saying the family had not been heard from for a few days.