Son says Mark Bucki is innocent
The son of Mark and Anita Bucki testified Thursday that he “110 percent” believes his father did not kill his mother.
Clint Bucki testified that his parents were having marital problems. He moved his mother to Minnesota to live with him April 13, 2013. He said the move was mutually agreed upon by his parents. His father helped load the U-Haul trailer.
Clint said his mother stayed with him for about a week before deciding to move back to live with a friend in Wausau. He said his mother had hopes of reconciling with his father in the future.
Mark Bucki reported Anita missing April 26 and her body was found May 10, 2013. Mark Bucki was charged with her murder May 13.
Clint said he initially suspected his mother may have committed suicide. Now that it is clear she was murdered, Clint said he doesn’t know who could have done it.
Clint said he last talked to his mother the day before she went missing. He said she sounded upbeat and at peace. She had a job lined up back in Wausau, Clint said.
Some of Clint’s testimony contradicted statements he had given to police while his mother was missing. The prosecution pointed out discrepancies, including whether Anita would leave without taking the $3,000 that was in her purse and when a large section of carpet was removed from a spare bedroom in the Bucki home. Clint said his mother’s computer stand had been sitting over the area where the large piece of carpeting was removed. Anita took the computer stand with her when she moved out of the house, he said.
Clint said his mother would help anybody, thinking of other people before herself. Anita had been losing weight, he said, because she wanted to look good for Mark.
Clint also testified that the shoes used to give bloodhounds Mark’s scent actually belonged to him. He said he had left the shoes behind when he moved to Minnesota and his father did occasionally wear them. Clint said he had never been walking on Cty. C in Taylor County, where the bloodhounds picked up the scent from the shoes.
In other testimony, the jury heard the 911 call placed by Mark Bucki April 26, 2013, reporting his wife missing.
Cindy Giese, special agent in charge for the Department of Criminal Investigation, said she talked to Mark Bucki twice during the investigation. She said she brought him medication he requested to his mother’s home in Medford, where he was staying, on May 2. He then called her on May 3 to see if he could get his cell phone back. Giese said she didn’t hear from him after that and at no point did he ask about the investigation.
DCI Special Agent Nicholas Pendergast testified about a disturbed area of earth found on the Bucki property. Officers attempted to excavate the 3×5-foot area, but found it filled with large rocks. Nothing of evidentiary value was found at that site, Pendergast said.
Lincoln County Deputy Grant Peterson, who responded to the initial call on April 26, said he found Mark Bucki to be calm and “kind of run down.” Mark told Peterson that he and Anita were separated and she had shown up at the residence the night before. They had argued about their marriage, Mark told him, and Mark went to bed at around midnight. When Mark awoke at about 5 a.m., Anita was gone, he said.
Peterson said he found the Bucki property to be very clean and well organized. The bed of the truck in the garage had an “overpowering smell of orange cleaner,” Peterson said. Peterson called Clint, who said he had no idea where Anita could be.
DCI Special Agent David Forsythe testified about the scene where Anita’s body was found May 10 in a swamp off Cty. C in Taylor County. Forsythe said the body was clad in a blue bathrobe. The belt of the robe was lying 5-6 feet away from the body, he said.
Mark Bucki is charged with first degree intentional homicide, hiding a corpse and strangulation/suffocation. A Lincoln County jury of eight men and seven women are hearing the case. The prosecution is expected to wrap up with their witnesses Friday. The trial is scheduled to go through next Thursday.