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

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


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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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 05/02/2016

- Until now, Price County has never had any type of public transportation.  Park Falls hasn't even had a taxi service in years.  That all changed in April with a new bus.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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ADAMS COUNTY - Update-We now know the names of two men who died in a two car crash near the Wisconsin Dells over the weekend.

The Wisconsin State Patrol tells us 65 year old Timothy Helm and his passenger, 72 year old Frances Chowaniec died at the scene of the crash.

Both men were from Oxford.

24 year old Kolton Coon of Wisconsin Dells was the second driver.

He was taken to a hospital and expected to survive.

The crash happened Saturday afternoon around 2:00 on County Road B north of state highway 23 in Adams County.

Wisconsin State Patrol is still investigating.





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EAGLE RIVER - Riding through forests and past scenic lakes make the Northwoods one of the best places to go ATVing.

Routes opened for the season at 8 a.m. Sunday in Vilas County.

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MERRILL - Grass fires forced a road in Lincoln County to be shut down for a while yesterday.

The first fire was reported at 11:30 yesterday morning in the Merrill area near the exit for US 51 near County K.

As fire crews were arriving, additional calls came in reporting fires near County Road C.

A short time later, another fire was reported north of County Road S.

That fire got into heavier brush, and parts of the road had to be shut down.

It took firefighters nearly an hour to put out the flames and check for hot spots.

The cause of the fires is not known yet.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - You often see tomatoes growing in gardens across the Northwoods, but making sure tomato plants stay healthy is difficult here in Wisconsin because of tomato blight.

In Wisconsin, tomato plants often get a disease called tomato blight. It can come early or late in the season.

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NORTHWOODS - Prescription drugs play an important role in our health.

They help us recover if we're sick, cope if we have a chronic condition and help manage pain.

But those drugs can expire or just stay in the back of our medicine cabinets for months or years.

And if those drugs get into the wrong hands—such as toddlers or abusers—that's a problem.

That's why many local police and sheriff's departments participate in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back program.

It's run by the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Saturday was National Take-Back Day.

"We're keeping the controlled substances in the hands they're supposed to be in, especially with the pill epidemic now, it's important that these stay out of the hands of people that are abusing them," said Minocqua Police Officer Matthew Tate. 

Several area police departments hosted drop-offs Saturday. 

You can drop off prescription or over-the-counter pills, ointments, patches, non-aerosol sprays, vials and pet medications. You cannot bring in inhalers or aerosol cans, and you cannot drop off illegal drugs or needles.

All the drugs are brought to the state Department of Justice where they will be incinerated.

That's better than just flushing them or throwing them out in the trash.

"It's very important that it's not getting into our ground water is the main thing," Tate said. "We just don't want people dumping them in toilets or in their garbage."

If you have prescription drugs you want to get rid of safely, don't worry if you missed Saturday's opportunity. Many area police stations have drug drop-off bins in their lobbies, so you can drop them off any time of the year.


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MINOCQUA - You know summer in the Northwoods will soon be here when seasonal businesses start opening up again.

Wildwood Wildlife Park opened up Saturday in Minocqua.

Hundreds of people rushed to the gate today to see all different types of animals, some local and some exotic.

"We are so busy today but it's a beautiful day to come out to Wildwood," said the park's director Judy Domaszek. "This is one of our baby aoudads, it's an African sheep, and as you can see in the background there are many people busy playing with the baby goats, and the sheep and the pigs and the tortoises, and they're just enjoying their day."

On Saturday the park had a giraffe feeding.

Workers also have been renovating and expanding the park.

The park has many new animals on the way, including some baby animals that were born there.

"The mouflon sheep are new, we've got some new reptiles, we have some new babies that we're going to have down in the nursery in a little while," Domaszek said. "We actually had a baby badger born here at the zoo. And we have a baby kangaroo. Those guys are all coming down when it's safe to come down."

Wildwood is open every day from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Then after Memorial Day the park stays open till 5:30 p.m. for the summer. 


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