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Police: Murder suspect apparently started fire to destroy evidence

MERRILL, WI (WTAQ) - Lincoln County authorities now say a murder suspect apparently started a fire at his home several hours before he claimed he did.

Sheriff’s deputies are asking witnesses to come forward, so they can prove their contention.

49-year-old Mark Bucki of the Merrill area is charged in the death of his estranged wife Anita.

Investigators said they learned that he spent the afternoon of April 26th trying to destroy evidence of his wife’s belongings. Court records indicate that Mark Bucki burned a ripped-out portion of carpet – but he said it was late in the afternoon.

Lincoln County officers said it appeared that huge fire was burning from 4 to 7 a.m. on April 26th at the couple’s home on Wegner Road in the town of Corning. It might have been in a burning barrel.

Officials say any eyewitness accounts of such a fire would be helpful in their investigation.

Authorities have not said how the blaze might have been connected to Anita’s killing. Her body wasn’t found until a couple weeks after she was discovered missing.

Mark Bucki is due back in court June 27th on charges of homicide, hiding a corpse, and strangulation and suffocation.