EPD: Two arrested for Warrick Co. murder have criminal records

Local News

Evansville, Ind. (WEHT) – We are getting more information on the two men arrested in connection with the murder of Valarie Ruark. Ruark was the woman found shot and burned to death in Warrick County in April.

The Warrick County Sheriff’s Office says Anthony Wolfe Junior and Brian Baumgartner are facing murder charges for Ruark’s death.

According to an affidavit obtained by Eyewitness News Wolfe thought Ruark was a confidential police informant.

The affidavit said Wolfe found paperwork in Ruark’s car which led him to believe she was working with police.

Evansville Police say both men have a criminal history dating back to their juvenile years.

“They started getting into crime at an early age has had numerous run ins with the law” says Captain Andy Chandler with the Evansville Police Department.  

Police say those run in’s include gang activity, violent crimes, theft, gang recruitment and battery. Wolfe was also sentenced to 48 months in prison for threatening to shoot up an EVSC high school several years ago.  

“Wolfe was charged with an intimidation and gang affiliation case back in 2013 when he was making some posts and threats to shoot up Harrison High School” Chandler adds.

Baumgartner is also charged with murder. His criminal history dates back years, mostly for dealing narcotics, meth, battery and weapons violations. Police say Baumgartner does not have a gang record.

“We know he was arrested for carrying a hand gun without a license, battery charges, once again a long lengthy history. He’s certainly no stranger to law enforcement in surrounding counties like Gibson, Warrick and Vanderburgh” Said Captain Chandler.

Investigators did a search of Baumgartner’s Warrick County property and Wolfe’s Evansville home on May 8th.  The affidavit says Baumgartner told investigators Wolfe approached him and told him to go inside his house while he quote “finished it.”

The affidavit says Wolfe told Ruark to lay on the ground in a nearby barn, he shot her in the head and then set her body on fire.

Both men are currently being held at the Warrick County Jail without bond.

They’re set to make their first court appearance in Warrick County Monday morning.

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(This story was originally published on May 10, 2019)

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