MERRILL, WI (WSAU) - The man charged with murdering his wife will stay in jail on a 2 million dollar cash bond. Mark Bucki is accused of killing his 48-year-old wife Anita. Mark reported Anita missing April 27th, and her body was found by two people out walking in Taylor County last Friday morning.
Lincoln County District Attorney Donald Dunphy says investigators have collected blood evidence from the suspect’s home, property, and truck. He’s still waiting for the lab results to verify the blood is human and if it belongs to the victim. “We’re not talking about pools of blood. We’re talking about droplets of blood and so forth. Some was found in the living room.”
Dunphy doesn’t have the pathologist report yet, so he cannot specifically name the cause of death. A pathologist with the Wisconsin Crime Lab observed bruising on the victim’s throat which is consistent with strangulation. Anita Bucki also had seven knife wounds. A forensic dentist with the Crime Lab used dental records to positively identify Anita Bucki.
Dunphy says investigators found other evidence that is being examined more closely, including blood drops and handprints in Bucki’s truck. Dunphy says the defendant also admitted to burning some items in a burning barrel, and that some of the carpeting from a bedroom was burned along with many of his wife’s belongings.
The Bucki’s were discussing divorce April 25th. The defendant admitted to investigators he raised his voice during the heated discussion. The couple had been separated for a couple of weeks. Mark Bucki admitted to investigators he had a new girlfriend. Anita Bucki was staying in Wausau, but Mark Bucki claims he allowed her to stay there the night of the divorce discussion.
The criminal complaint shows investigators noticed the smell of household cleanser in the bed of Bucki’s truck.
Dunphy says a cadaver dog indicated the presence of decomposition in the bed of the truck, the defendant’s boots, the burning barrel, a lawn roller, a shower stall, and what appears to be an empty shallow grave. “It had the look of a shallow grave. There was nothing in it, obviously law enforcement did check, but when the cadaver dog was allowed to make a pass over it, he did indicate that there was the odor of decomposing flesh there.”
Dunphy is awaiting reports from the State Crime Lab, as well as Lincoln and Taylor County Sheriff’s investigators. Even without those reports, the prosecutor believes he has enough evidence to support the charges of first degree intentional homicide, hiding a corpse, and strangulation and suffocation.
Dunphy says the information and evidence found so far has been gathered mostly by Lincoln County investigators and the crime lab. “The family didn’t have a lot of contact with this specific event. Most of our information came from what law enforcement was able to see and what Mr. Bucki told the investigators.”
A preliminary hearing has been set for 10:00 a.m. on May 23rd in Lincoln County Court.