Ex-boyfriend accused of killing missing woman in Panama
Yvonne Baldelli and her former boyfriend, who is accused of murdering her. Photo courtesy of CBS
YUMA, Ariz. (13 On Your Side) – There is new information in a two-year-old cold case that made national headlines.
FBI agents have charged the former boyfriend of Yvonne Baldelli with murder.
Yvonne went missing in Panama in 2011.
13 On Your Side spoke to Yvonne Baldelli's sister, who lives in Yuma.
A grand jury indictment—unsealed today—accuses Baldelli's former boyfriend Brian Brimager of killing Baldelli, coming up with an elaborate scheme to cover up his crime, destroying evidence and lying to police.
Evidence shows Brimager went as far as impersonating Baldelli to make her family believe she was alive.
It all started in 2011, when Yvonne Baldelli and Brian Brimager moved from Los Angeles to Bocas del Toro, Panama.
Michelle Faust, Baldelli's sister who lives in Yuma, was told her sister was going to make and sell swimwear to tourists in the area and her boyfriend would make a living singing at local bars.
"She was sending me emails and phone calls and just loving life there," Faust said. She tells 13 On Your Side her sister would say things to her like, "It's so beautiful here, I'm so happy, come visit me, come visit me."
But Panamanian officials say the couple had a violent relationship and Baldelli was a victim of constant physical abuse.
"I've never met the boyfriend. I can't speak about him because I don't have any information about who he was," Faust said.
The indictment states Baldelli was last seen leaving a restaurant with Brimager on the evening of November 26, 2011.
CBS reports say within weeks of Baldelli's disappearance, Brimager returned to the U.S. and married another woman.
Authorities say Brimager created an elaborate scheme to explain Baldelli's whereabouts months later.
The ex-Marine tells CBS that Baldelli went to Costa Rica with another man. But reports say her passport showed she was never in Costa Rica.
There is no record she ever left Panama.
The FBI says Brimager instead, impersonated Baldelli by using her laptop and email account in an attempt to trick her friends and family into believing she was still alive.
Authorities say Baldelli's laptop was found in Brimager's possession months after she disappeared.
The indictment charges say that Brimager dumped a bloody mattress in the ocean.
He also searched how to wash bloody stains out of a mattress on the internet, using Baldelli's computer.
The FBI says he also got rid of Baldelli's belongings by packing them in ten large garbage bags and leaving them on the dock outside their hotel for disposal.
Baldelli's family are asking anyone with information about her disappearance to step forward and continue to cooperate with police.
They have a Facebook page set up at "Finding Yvonne Baldelli."
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