Caldwell, Idaho • The only suspect in the killing of two women and a 14-year-old girl last year in Idaho will likely never be brought to justice because he’s probably dead, a sheriff said.
Gerald Michael “Mike” Bullinger, 60, likely killed himself, died from exposure to the elements or was killed by an animal attack in a remote area of Wyoming, Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donahue said.
“The case is solved,” Donahue told KBOI-TV. “One hundred percent solved; with the forensic evidence we have, and the facts of the case, we have solved the crime.”
The case, however, remains open, and Bullinger’s death could be proven only if his remains are found and identified through DNA.
The bodies of 56-year-old Cheryl Baker, who was Bullinger’s wife, 48-year-old Nadja Medley, his girlfriend, and her 14-year-old daughter, Payton, were found a year ago in a shed in Caldwell. They had been shot.
All had formerly lived in Ogden, Utah. A relative of Baker’s told The Salt Lake Tribune that Bullinger had moved to Idaho for a job, bringing the Medleys with him while leaving Baker in Ogden to pack up their house. The family theorizes Bullinger killed the women and teen after Baker showed up early at the Idaho farmhouse and they discovered Bullinger had been cheating.
A Ford Focus that authorities said was connected to Bullinger was later found at a remote campsite in Wyoming in Bridger-Teton National Forest.
Bullinger has taught survival training, but Donahue said he doubts Bullinger could have survived the winter in the remote area.
Authorities have not released autopsy results or disclosed what they found in Bullinger’s car or whether they found a weapon.