Missing Lincoln County Grandmother Allegedly Stabbed, Strangled; Husband Faces Murder ChargesSubmitted: 05/13/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer

MERRILL - "She was just such an awesome lady that, it hurts, it really hurts," says Cliff Brown.

Cliff, one of Anita Bucki's several brothers, is among those grieving her death.

That's what made hearing some of the things he did in court today even more painful.

"She had been stabbed, and there was bruising on the inside of her throat, indicating to the pathologist that she may have been strangled," Lincoln County District Attorney Don Dunphy said at Mark Bucki's initial appearance Tuesday.

Mark, Anita's husband, had reported her missing from her rural Merrill home on April 26th.

But instead of a husband concerned for his missing wife, prosecutors believe he murdered her.

"There were seven stab wounds," Dunphy told reporters.

"There's anger. It's like, okay, you were her husband. You're supposed to protect her. Why all of a sudden is she found in the woods in a swamp? Are you kidding me?" asks Cliff.

A couple walking the forest in Taylor County found her body late last week, and she was identified Sunday.

Mark Bucki admitted to investigators he and Anita, a couple for nearly 27 years, were having a conversation about divorce, and he raised his voice.

He told police that after she supposedly disappeared, he ripped out carpeting from the bedroom, took some of Anita's belongings, and burned them.

"It certainly looks as if that carpeting was removed for a reason. And burned," Dunphy said.

A warrant led investigators to find blood in the home and on Mark Bucki's boots.

"Some of the blood was found in the living room, and I have a hard time believing Mr. Bucki dressed a deer," Dunphy told Judge John Yackel.

A police dog found signs of decomposing flesh in the bed of Mark Bucki's truck, on his boots, in the shower, in a burn barrel, and in what looked like a shallow by empty grave.

A week and a half after those discoveries, the discovery of Anita's body, with its stab wounds and throat bruising, was found in Taylor County.

Now, prosecutors think they have a strong case against Mark Bucki.

But Anita leaves behind the thing that was seemingly most important to her her family.

"Her granddaughter was just everything to her," said Cliff.

Alauna had just turned one year old.

Now, she'll grow up without Grandma Anita.

"That's Anita in a nutshell right there," Cliff said of a picture of Alauna and Anita. "The smile on her face, the baby in her arms, it's beautiful. That's how we've got to remember her."

We'll wait to see if Anita's husband, Mark, will be found guilty for making remembering her the only way left to experience Anita Bucki.

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TOMAH - The Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center says it has adopted another plan to improve patient care.

The La Crosse Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1QMsDMZ) that Friday's release of the "100-day plan" comes almost 11 months after media reports that veterans at the center were prescribed excessive doses of opioid pain-killers and that employees who spoke out faced retaliation from top officials.

The plan, which follows a 30-day plan announced in May, outlines steps for improving access to care, employee engagement and restoring trust.

Among other things, it calls for recruitment of psychiatric staff, employee forums and listening sessions, and opening an employee wellness center.

Several Tomah VA officials including former Director Mario Desanctis and former Chief of Staff David Houlihan have been fired since the problems emerged early this year.

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WAUSAU - This has been Wisconsin's deadliest gun-deer season in the past five years, with two shooting fatalities already recorded.

Daily Herald Media reports (http://wdhne.ws/1HvNth3 ) that the two fatalities brought to an end a three-year series of seasons that had been free of firearm deaths. Four other hunters also have been wounded.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, hunters violated some of the fundamental rules of gun safety in all the incidents.

A man was killed last Sunday in Columbia County when he was shot while passing a loaded rifle to a companion in a tree stand. Wearing mittens, she grabbed the gun near the trigger and it went off. On Monday, a hunter in Waushara County was killed by a stray bullet.

The nine-day season runs through Sunday.

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MAUSTON - Authorities are investigating the death of a person who was found unresponsive in Decorah Lake early Friday.

Kyle Lynch, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources warden for Juneau County, says he was called to the scene to assist in a boat search about 1:30 a.m. He also says the Mauston Fire Department recovered the body, which was found in the water.

The Mauston Police Department says attempts were made to rescue the individual, but the Juneau County Coroner's Office pronounced the individual dead at the scene. Police have provided few other details, and the victim's name has not been released.

Mauston is about 70 miles northwest of Madison.

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APPLETON - The U.S. Marshals Service says a convicted sex offender who was wanted for violating the terms of his release has been arrested in Appleton.

The agency says 63-year-old L.C. Streeter, of Milwaukee, was previously convicted of four separate sexual assaults from 1976 to 1985. Wisconsin committed him as a sexually violent person in 1996, and he remained in treatment until his release in 2013 under intensive supervision.

The service said in a statement that he cut off his GPS and electronic monitoring bracelets and fled supervision on Monday, resulting in a warrant for his arrest. Federal marshals and Appleton police arrested him without incident in Appleton on Friday.

Kevin Carr, the U.S. marshal for eastern Wisconsin, says Streeter was "an absolute danger to the community based upon his past convictions."

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MOUNT HOREB - A southern Wisconsin school district has cancelled plans for elementary school students to read a children's book about a transgender girl after a group threatened to sue.

The Capital Times reports (http://bit.ly/1TadnaG ) that the Mount Horeb Area School District released a statement saying it won't proceed with its planned reading of "I Am Jazz."

Parents were told last week that Mount Horeb Primary Center students would read the book because one student identifies as a girl but was born with male anatomy.

A Florida-based group, the Liberty Counsel, threatened to sue, saying concerned parents had reached out and that reading the book would violate parental rights.

The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies the Liberty Counsel as a hate group that advocates for "anti-LGBT discrimination, under the guise of religious liberty."

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Every year, wildlife officers work hard to catch deer poachers.

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Nurses from the Community Blood Center took donations from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. as part of the "Give a Pint, Give a Pound" blood drive.  For every pint donated, the Blood Center will give a pound of food to the Lakeland Food Pantry.

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