The Warrick County Sheriff’s Office has arrested two men in connection with the death of the Boonville woman whose remains were found outside of Elberfeld last month.
The sheriff’s office announced on Thursday evening that Anthony Wolfe, Jr., 24, of Evansville, and Brian Baumgartner, 43, of Boonville, were arrested on preliminary charges of murder in connection with the murder of 32-year-old Boonville woman, Valarie Ruark. Ruark’s remains were found in the area of Seven Hills and Wasson roads near Elberfeld on Friday, April 26.
A release from the Warrick County Sheriff’s Office states that the arrests come after two weeks of investigation from numerous law enforcement agencies including the Indiana State Police, the Evansville Police Department, the Boonville Police Department, the FBI and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. According to the release, the investigation is still ongoing and more charges may come as a result.
The investigation into Ruark’s death began when individuals who had been fishing in the area of Seven Hills and Wasson roads came across her remains, Warrick County Sheriff Michael Wilder said. While the individuals had passed the area multiple times, Wilder said the individuals didn’t notice the remains right away and at first thought they saw an animal carcass.
After further inspection, Wilder said the individuals realized that it was human remains and called 911.
Wilder said the area is mostly frequented by individuals hunting, fishing or watching animals and isn’t heavily populated overnight. He said the most common criminal activities in the area are trespassing hunters, improper firearm activity and underage drinking — activities that seem very small given the nature of the homicide investigation.
“The area is rural,” he said.
The Warrick County Sheriff’s Office began the investigation with the challenge of identifying the remains first found on Friday, April 26. Press releases from the sheriff’s office indicated that the body had been badly burned, but a release on Sunday, April 28, noted that investigators were seeking assistance in identifying the body and gave information about a tattoo that allowed tips to help identify Ruark. The sheriff’s office confirmed the identification of the human remains found Seven Hills and Wasson roads as Ruark on Tuesday, April 30, after announcing the day before that the investigation would be treated as a homicide investigation.
Continue to follow The Standard for more information on the case as it develops.