Days after the family of a Utah woman who was in the process of moving to Caldwell with her husband told the Statesman she was missing, a friend of a second woman is telling a similar story.
On Monday, Canyon County sheriff’s deputies conducting a welfare check found the bodies of three women, partially decomposed, in a shed at a home on KCID Road. Each was apparently killed by a single gunshot, according to law enforcement. They were believed to have been dead for a week or two.
The Canyon County Sheriff’s Office estimated the women ranged in age from mid-teens to mid-50s, and said each seemed to match a person who was reportedly missing and connected to the property. Authorities are still working to confirm the identities of the partially decomposed bodies via dental, DNA and other records. They’re also still trying to determine why the three were killed.
Canyon County Coroner Vicki DeGeus-Morris said Friday it will likely be early next week before any of the three victims is positively identified.
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Gerald Michael “Mike” Bullinger, 60, is wanted on a nationwide warrant for failure to report three deaths on the property that he bought in May with his wife, Cheryl Baker, 57. He is a person of interest in the case, and no other possible suspect has been identified, Canyon County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Marv Dashiell said Wednesday.
Cheryl Baker, who bought the Caldwell property with Bullinger in May, is missing. Her brother Byron Baker, who lives in their native Michigan, said friends and family haven’t heard from her in almost two weeks.
Also missing are Nadja and Payton Medley, said a friend who feels certain that two of the bodies belong to the 47-year-old woman and her 14-year-old daughter.
Rebecca Lorenz, of Ogden, Utah, said she has known Nadja Medley since they began working together at a massage therapy center. They’ve been friends ever since, building a six-year relationship. Lorenz said she hasn’t heard from Medley since May 23.
Lorenz said Medley had been dating Bullinger for 18 months to two years, and Lorenz once met him. She said the couple recently moved in together and she believes there is no way Medley would have done that if she had known Bullinger was married. Moving to Idaho from Utah was supposed to be “a fresh start,” Lorenz said.
“She was head over heels in love with Mike,” Lorenz said.
Medley’s Facebook page includes multiple photos of her and Payton with someone who appears to be Bullinger, smiling and embracing. On May 10, Medley posted a video on Facebook that appeared to be taken at the KCID Road property, with a statement that read, “Our new place.”
On March 25, Medley posted: “WE'RE MOVING. That's right. A new home has been found, and Mike, Payton Medley and I are moving in together. Boise, here we come!” An April 20 post reported the move was planned at the beginning of May and they would live in Caldwell.
Bullinger, who reportedly was last seen on June 11, had formed a connection with Nadja’s daughter Payton, sometimes picking her up from school, Lorenz said. Payton idolized him and sometimes called him dad, Lorenz said.
Nadja Medley’s last Facebook post was on June 4.
Byron Baker said previously that he had no idea who might have been on the property besides his sister and Bullinger. He said he was under the impression that they were in a monogamous marriage, and the last he heard, Cheryl was very happy with Mike.
The Weber County Clerk’s Office in Utah has a copy of a marriage license for Bullinger and Baker, issued on Aug. 19, 2010, with the ceremony dated for Sept. 6, 2010. Byron Baker said the couple held two ceremonies, including one arranged so the Bakers’ elderly mother could attend.
Property records from the Canyon County Assessor’s Office show that Bullinger and Baker purchased the KCID Road home together, taking ownership on May 3. A real estate ad describes the property as 25 acres with a four-bedroom home and outbuildings.
According to Byron Baker, Bullinger moved to Idaho ahead of his wife, taking contract work as a corporate pilot and reportedly living in a camper or trailer.
Cheryl Baker retired this year after more than three decades as a teacher, most recently at GreenWood Charter School in Harrisburg, Utah. Her brother said she and Bullinger were selling their home in Ogden, and she was in the process of packing up to make a permanent move to their new place in Idaho.
The couple’s mules, used for backcountry trips and Bullinger’s outfitting business, are apparently still in Utah, along with Cheryl’s dogs, he said. The last known communication from Cheryl was a text June 11, asking a friend to take care of the dogs, he said.
The same day that text was sent, Bullinger was spotted in his former hometown of Ogden, the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office reports. By now, investigators say, he could be anywhere. Federal, state and local authorities throughout the nation are looking for him.
Asked if there have been any additional sightings or leads on where Bullinger might be, Canyon County spokesman Joe Decker said, “We are receiving many tips and following up on them, but not releasing any details at this time.”
Anyone with information in the case is asked to call 208-454-7531 or 208-454-7480. Recent sightings or information about Bullinger’s whereabouts also can be called in to police in that jurisdiction.
Kristin Rodine contributed.