Crime

Tips pour in to East Idaho sheriff about missing man tied to Caldwell killings

Gerald Michael Bullinger, in a photo distributed by law enforcement.
Gerald Michael Bullinger, in a photo distributed by law enforcement.

Gerald Michael Bullinger, whom authorities hope to question in regards to three people apparently killed at his Caldwell home, was possibly seen Thursday in the Fall Creek Road area of Bonneville County, near Swan Valley, the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.

A couple of people who work in the popular recreation area near the Snake River reported seeing someone who looked like Bullinger on Thursday morning, said Bonneville County Sheriff Sgt. Bryan Lovell.

“It was in a camp spot up there,” said Lovell, who is based at the Sheriff’s Office in Idaho Falls. “It didn’t sound like anyone talked to him.”

Lovell said he believed the person who resembled Bullinger was spotted in a tent. When deputies responded to check out the tip, they didn’t find anyone matching the description.

Falls Creek Road is a gravel road and main artery through the vast camping area. It is less than two hours from where Bullinger’s car was found this week in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming, so Bonneville County authorities put out word on Facebook on Friday morning to ensure that people in the area were aware and would keep an eye out.

They’ve received a lot of tips.

“Since I’ve put this out, we’re getting tips on every man that’s 60 years old with gray hair,” Lovell said.

The photos posted on Facebook by the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office were not new; they were from prior releases, Lovell said.

The sheriff’s backcountry deputies and officials from other agencies are monitoring the area, but there’s no active search.

“We have a lot of eyes up there,” Lovell said.

Agencies across the country are aware of the case and are following up on tips in their jurisdictions, said Canyon County spokesman Joe Decker. He said the FBI is not involved in the case but the county is tapping some of that agency’s resources.

Bullinger, 60, is wanted for failure to report three deaths, each a felony. The bodies of two women and a girl were found at Bullinger’s residence on June 19.

Investigators said the three women had been shot and placed in a shed on Bullinger’s property, apparently a week or two before Canyon County sheriff’s deputies discovered them.

Authorities have only confirmed the identity of one victim: Bullinger’s wife, Cheryl Baker, 56. Friends of massage therapist Nadja Medley, 47, and her 14-year-old daughter, Payton, have told the Statesman that they fear the two are the other victims. Medley appeared to also be in a relationship with Bullinger, and had posted on her Facebook page that she and Bullinger were moving into the Caldwell house together.

The murders may have happened in early or mid-June, according to Marv Dashiell, chief deputy of the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office.

Bullinger has not been named a suspect in the murders but is considered a person of interest, Dashiell said earlier.

A white Ford Focus described in Bullinger’s wanted notices was found in Wyoming earlier this week. The car may have been in the area for about three weeks before someone told law enforcement about it, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Investigators have examined the vehicle, but aren’t saying anything about what they found.

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