Bullinger manhunt

Investigators launched a massive manhunt for triple murder suspect Gerald Mike Bullinger after a car registered to one of the victims was found abandoned near Pacific Creek. Federal, state and local agencies searched for weeks with no luck. Bullinger, who’s wanted for the Idaho murders of his wife, girlfriend and girlfriend’s daughter, still hasn’t been located.

It has been two weeks since a triple homicide suspect was seen entering Grand Teton National Park, and so far aggressive search efforts have turned up nothing.

“We’re scaling back our search efforts unless there are new leads identified,” Teton County Sheriff’s Lt. Matt Carr said Tuesday. “The investigative efforts will still continue.”

Gerald “Mike” Bullinger, 60, is suspected of killing three women and leaving their remains in a shed on his property in Caldwell, Idaho. A car registered to his wife, one of the victims, was found abandoned at Pacific Creek campground in Teton County. He was seen in the car entering Grand Teton National Park through the Moran entrance in mid-June, police said.

“The last spot we can place him is coming in that entrance gate on the 11th,” Carr said.

The car likely sat at the campground for a month before it was reported. There are no records of him paying for a campsite.

Federal, state and local investigators have combed the area, but the fugitive hasn’t been seen since.

The Pacific Creek campground and other area closures were lifted as of Tuesday, Carr said.

“We’re relying on the public to provide us with our next lead,” Carr said. “We still have the posters out there.”

The investigation spans at least 600 miles and several states, because Bullinger likely fled Caldwell, Idaho, and headed to his other home in Ogden, Utah, police said. There was a confirmed sighting of him there before his car was found in Teton County.

Another challenge investigators face is that Bullinger’s description — 60 years old with gray hair, brown eyes, 6-feet, 1-inch tall, 240 pounds — is very average.

“He looks like most grandpas,” Carr said.

Calls come in every day about possible sightings of him — from clear across the country to Town Square. There was a reported sighting of him last week at Dairy Queen. As of Tuesday, Teton County had investigated 64 tips.

“It’s helpful in the sense that that’s what we are relying on right now,” Carr said. “But it does complicate the investigation because we have to try to validate these.”

Investigators have searched deep in the backcountry using dogs, helicopters and infrared technology.

“The sheriff’s office contracted the Sublette County helicopter to insert a tactical team into one of the backcountry cabins that was located within the closed area,” Carr said. “Realistically it’s not accessible by foot to get in and out. We had a few clues we wanted to clear out.”

Searchers were looking for evidence in the Enos Lake cabin, but it was later cleared.

“How embarrassing would it be if we get down the road and he’s been camped out in a cabin, and we just didn’t check it?” Carr said.

Bullinger is accused of killing his wife Cheryl Baker, 57, and two women who haven’t been positively identified.

Though not confirmed, the other bodies are reportedly those of Bullinger’s girlfriend, Nadja Medley, and her teenage daughter, Payton Medley.

On June 19 a Canyon County, Idaho, deputy responded to a welfare check at Bullinger’s Caldwell property and found the bodies in the shed. All three were shot, according to the coroner.

Physical evidence has been collected, and police are awaiting DNA results before they issue a felony murder warrant for Bullinger’s arrest. That means he’s currently wanted for failing to report the deaths.

“We’ve got a lot of evidence out right now,” said Marv Dashiell, chief deputy with the Canyon County sheriff’s office. “Some we’re able to do in our own lab. Some we’ve sent out to the state.”

They’re hoping to have DNA results back within the next week, he said.

Anyone with information about Bullinger is asked to call 911 or sheriff’s dispatch at 733-2331.

Contact Emily Mieure at 732-7066, courts@jhnewsandguide.com or @JHNGcourts.

Emily Mieure covers criminal justice and emergency news. She also leads the News&Guide’s investigative efforts. She has reported for WDRB TV in Louisville, Ky., WFIE TV in Evansville, Ind., and WEIU TV in Charleston, Ill.

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