Cheryl Baker drove five hours to surprise her pilot husband at their new farm so they could celebrate her retirement and discovered him living there with his mistress and her teen daughter. Gerald "Mike" Bullinger allegedly shot and killed his wife, his mistress, and the teenager girl who called him "dad."
Caldwell, Idaho, police and assisting agencies have launched a manhunt for Mike Bullinger. The wanted pilot told his school teacher wife he was living in a trailer on the property while he fixed up the old farmhouse for her to come live in after she retired from Greenwood Charter School.
Cheryl Baker's last day on the job was June 6. Instead of remaining in Ogden, Utah, for several more weeks to finish selling their old home, the pilot's wife decided to head out to the farm and surprise her husband. A Facebook post by the mistress from last March states Bullinger asked her and her daughter to move in with him on the farm.
The surprise that unfolded was not at all what the school teacher had anticipated. She had no idea her pilot husband had been leading a double life. For the past two years, Mike Bullinger had been having an affair with Nadja Medley. He had been engaging in a typical home life with Medley and her teen daughter, Payton, the Daily Mail reports.
Wife of pilot wanted for murder made a surprise visit to his new househttps://t.co/doTNsPIGvg
— The News Desk (@ThenewsdeskInfo) June 29, 2017
Photos and videos of Mike Bullinger, 60, Nadja Medley, and her daughter taken on the property were displayed on the Facebook page belonging to Medley. Underneath one post the mistress wrote "My new place" and added emojis with hearts next to videos taken on the farm. Law enforcement officers do not believe Medley had any idea Bullinger was married.
Exactly what happened after Cheryl Baker arrived at the farm in rural Utah remains unclear. The dead bodies of the 57-year-old retired teacher, Medley, 47, and Payton, 14, were found lined up in a shed and covered in plastic on June 19. Mike Bullinger is officially considered a person of interest in the triple murders, the Idaho Statesman reports.
Byron Baker, the teacher's brother, said his sister had told him about the surprise visit she was planning before leaving town. The brother also said Bullinger was supposed to be living alone on the property while taking care of plumbing issues, painting, and doing other minor repairs to the old farmhouse.
Cheryl Baker was a vegetarian who was passionate about meditation and spirituality, according to her brother. Byron also said Mike Bullinger was a corporate jet contract pilot who routinely traveled or lived out of state for weeks at a time. The couple would spend time with each other between flight jobs or on weekends.
"The closest theory I can come up with is he wanted Cheryl to sell the house in Ogden, which was in her name, so he could cash in on the money before leaving her for his mistress," Byron Baker said when asked about the possible motive behind the triple murders. "But that's just a guess. But why organize for both women to come to the new house in Idaho? They always seemed to struggle for money considering he was a pilot, but then again he was living two lives."
On the surface, the marriage between Cheryl Baker and Mike Bullinger appeared perfect to her brother. The couple shared the same interests, dislikes, and overall mindset. They would frequently go rafting, hiking, mule riding, and engage in other outdoor pursuits together.
Police search for former Utah resident 60-year-old Gerald Mike Bullinger after 3 women found dead in Idaho,https://t.co/CkhzF68Lt2 pic.twitter.com/LMmC6TvM3j
— Galaxy8Newscom (@GroffSwintMedia) June 22, 2017
The art teacher was regarded as a very loving person who cared deeply for her students. She did not have any children of her own. According to former co-workers, Cheryl had planned to turn the shed where her body was found into an art studio.
Each of the women were shot once. The bodies were significantly decomposed before they were found. Idaho police officers also found the remains of multiple dead birds, dogs, rats, rabbits, and a snake while investigating the crime scene.
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