Ex-Marine Indicted for Murder and Cover-up

     (CN) – Federal prosecutors have unsealed an indictment against an ex-Marine they say murdered his girlfriend during an extended trip to Panama in 2011.
     Brian Brimager and his girlfriend of two years, Yvonne Baldelli, flew from California to Bocas Del Toro, Panama, on September 26, 2011.
     “Baldelli brought along her two high quality sewing machines, her King Charles Spaniel Georgia Mae, and her white Sony VAIO laptop computer,” according to the indictment.
     The couple allegedly checked into a room at a five-unit hostel on Isla Carenero, reachable from Bocas only by water taxi or private boat.
     Prosecutors say Brimager and Baldelli quickly “established a close, personal relationship” with the manager of the hostel who resided in the unit immediately next door to theirs.
     “Almost immediately upon arrival and beginning no later October 2011, Brimager began emailing another girlfriend (K.W.), the mother of his young daughter,” the indictment states. “In these emails, Brimager discussed plans to move back to California to live with K.W. and help raise their daughter. The emails do not mention Baldelli.”
     Prosecutors say “Brimager began fighting with and physically abusing Baldelli” a couple of weeks into the trip, leaving bruises around Baldelli’s eyes and arms.
     “In November 2011, Brimager sent a series of emails to K.W., his mother, and a friend from the Marine Corps,” the indictment states. “In these emails, Brimager indicated that he was getting bored with life in Bocas and was planning to return to California in short order. Once again, these emails do not mention Baldelli.”
     Tensions allegedly escalated when the hostel manager put Brimager and Baldelli in charge, and without a next-door neighbor, while she sought treatment for a broken leg.
     Prosecutors say Baldelli was last seen alive returning to the hostel with Brimager on the night of Nov. 26, 2011.
     “In or about the late evening hours of November 26 or the early morning hours of November 27, 2011, Brimager killed Baldelli and disposed of her body in an unknown location,” the indictment states.
     Brimager also allegedly disposed of Baldelli’s dog in some unknown manner.
     That morning, “Brimager used Baldelli’s Sony VAIO laptop to conduct two internet searches within 30 seconds of each other: one for ‘washing mattress’ and then one for ‘washing mattress blood stain,'” the indictment states. “Brimager conducted these searches in an effort to clean up a mattress after his killing of Baldelli. Brimager could not clean the mattress, however, and threw it in the ocean. Brimager then purchased a new mattress and told the hotel manager that he had thrown the old one in the ocean because his dog had urinated on it.”
     To support his cover story that Baldelli left him for a man named Tony Gonzales and traveled to Costa Rica, Brimager allegedly withdrew money from Baldelli’s bank accounts.
     He then put “personal items belonging to Baldelli in approximately 10 large trash bags,” according to the indictment. “Brimager placed these bags on the hostel’s dock for disposal. The bags contained, among other things, Baldelli’s clothing, cosmetics and jewelry.
     Prosecutors say Brimager accessed Baldelli’s personal email account on Nov. 29, 2011, and impersonated Baldelli in an email to her sister.
     The message “falsely stated that ‘she’ (Baldelli) had broken up with Brimager and was headed to Costa Rica with a man named Tony Gonzales,” prosecutors say.
     In another email in which he pretended to be Baldelli, Brimager allegedly told the hotel manager to take her two sewing machines. Prosecutors sya Brimager then emailed the manager from his own account about how Baldelli had supposedly dumped him.
     “On December 10, 2011, Brimager flew back to the United States with a layover in Costa Rica,” the indictment states. “The following day, while still in Costa Rica, Brimager, again pretending to be Baldelli, composed and sent an email from Baldelli’s personal email account to one of Baldelli’s friends. The email falsely claimed that ‘she’ (Baldelli) was in Costa Rica travelling and ‘having a great time.'”
     Brimager allegedly withdrew $200 from Baldelli’s account while he was in Costa Rica, and later checked her email account “while on his layover at the Hartefield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia.”
     When Brimager landed in San Diego on Dec. 12, 2011, K.W. allegedly picked him up at the airport.
     “He proposed to her two days later and they married shortly thereafter,” the indictment states.
     Baldelli’s sister allegedly told Brimager on Dec. 13, 2011, that she was thinking about filing a missing persons report. She agreed to wait for Brimager to contact Baldelli first, prosecutors say.
     Brimager allegedly emailed Baldelli’s account a week later, telling the girlfriend he had killed to call her sister.
     He BCC’d the sister on this email, waited 30 minutes, and then logged on to Baldelli’s account to email the sister, prosecutors say.
     “The email falsely indicated that ‘she’ (Baldelli) was fine and ‘missed talking to mom,'” according to the indictment.
     The email apparently persuaded further delay of the missing persons report, and Brimager impersonated Baldelli in another email to the sister the next week, telling her that “she” hoped to return home in January 2012, prosecutors say.
     Brimager faces 10 counts of obstruction of justice, and making false statement to a federal officer.

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