PD: Shooting Victims’ Fiancé, Brother Still Missing

Gianni Belvedere, 24, has been missing since the deadly shooting of his girlfriend and brother outside a San Diego mall

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    SDPD
    Two weeks after the Christmas Eve shootings of Ilona Flint and Salvatore Belvedere, San Diego police say Gianni Belvedere remains missing.

    It’s been two weeks since a deadly Christmas Eve shooting outside Westfield Mission Valley Mall took the lives of two San Diego residents – and two weeks since the disappearance of the man closest to the shooting victims.

    According to Lt. Mike Hastings of the San Diego Police Department, the search continues for missing San Diego man, Gianni Belvedere, 24, last seen at his Tierrasanta home on Dec. 23.

    On Dec. 24, at around 1:15 a.m., Gianni’s fiancée, Ilona Flint, and brother, Salvatore Belvedere, were critically shot in a parking lot outside a Macy’s department store at Mission Valley Mall.

    Gianni Belvedere Still Missing

    [DGO] Gianni Belvedere Still Missing
    It’s been two weeks since a deadly Christmas Eve shooting outside Westfield Mission Valley Mall took the lives of two San Diego residents – and two weeks since the disappearance of the man closest to the shooting victims. NBC 7's Megan Tevrizian reports on the search for Gianni Belvedere.

    Flint was shot in the head but still managed to call 911 to report the shooting, telling dispatchers she was injured near the mall. Salvatore was shot in the head and torso.

    Officers located the wounded duo inside a vehicle in the 1600-block of Camino Del Rio North. Flint was pronounced dead at the scene shortly thereafter, while Salvatore was transported to a local trauma center with life-threatening wounds. His death was confirmed by the SDPD and Belvedere family on Dec. 27.

    Relatives Make Plea for Missing Man

    [DGO]Relatives Make Plea for Missing Man
    Family and friends of Salvatore Belvedere held a vigil Wednesday evening at one of his favorite surfing spots. Belvedere was shot to death on Christmas Eve in the Mission Valley Macy’s parking lot. At the vigil, family also pleaded for the return of Sal’s brother Gianni and announced an increased reward to help find him. NBC 7’s Megan Tevrizian reports from Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach.

    Both Flint and Salvatore were 22 years old.

    Two weeks later, San Diego police have yet to name a suspect or reveal a motive behind the slayings, though investigators have said it does not appear the incident was tied to any sort of robbery.

    Following the shooting, police released a vague description of a possible shooting suspect described as a man wearing tan pants, between 5-foot-9 and 5-foot-11. A possible vehicle of interest in the case is a 2008 to 2011 dark gray Honda sedan, police said.

    Adding even more mystery to the case is the unexplained disappearance of Gianni, who hasn’t been seen or heard from since the shooting.

    On Tuesday, Lt. Hastings confirmed there is still no trace of the missing man. Gianni’s cell phone and credit cards have not been used since he vanished, according to investigators.

    Lt. Hastings told NBC 7 San Diego this is one of the most unusual cases he’s seen in his 20-year career. He said police have been in constant contact with the Belvedere family as investigators continue searching for leads.

    Though the Belvedere brothers and Flint are originally from Utah, Lt. Hastings said he has no reason to believe that Gianni has left California. He said investigators have been in touch with police departments in other states, but did not reveal specifics.

    Meanwhile, Paul Donato, uncle of the Belvedere brothers, told NBC 7 on Tuesday that the search for Gianni is ongoing. He said the family is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to Gianni.

    In previous statements, the Belvedere family has said Gianni may have also been at the mall at the time of the deadly shooting.

    NBC 7 also spoke with Andre Briones, Flint’s former employer and friend, who said Gianni adored both Flint and Salvatore, and his disappearance has been difficult on loved ones.

    "Anybody who knew Gianni knew how much he loved both of them,” said Briones. "I can't speak about Gianni; I don't know anything about his whereabouts, I don't know if something happened to him. Honestly, none of us know. It’s as big a mystery to us. What I do know is that Gianni loved Ilona and Gianni loved his little brother."

    Briones said Ilona didn’t have a car and the Belvedere brothers – along with other friends and family members – would take turns giving her rides to work.

    “She was always getting rides. I would give her rides, my mother would give her rides, Gianni would give her rides, Sal would give her rides -- basically every one of Gianni's siblings would give her rides,”
    Briones explained. “It was not unusual at all for Ilona to be getting rides from anybody, particularly Sal. Sal was just doing his older brother a favor by giving his fiancée a ride.”

    Briones said he often spent time with Flint and the Belvedere brothers after work, grabbing food or playing pool. He said Gianni was never aggressive, and said the Belvedere brothers were inseparable.

    Like the Belvedere family, Briones wants answers and justice to prevail.

    "I want whoever is responsible to be brought to justice and I want the world to know how beautiful and amazing my friend Ilona was,” added Briones.

    For now, Lt. Hastings said he will not be doing interviews with local media outlets unless there is a major development in the case. He said investigators are still digging into the backgrounds of Flint and the Belvedere brothers, trying to piece together the puzzle.

    The SDPD has issued a missing person bulletin for Gianni describing him as an Italian-American man with brown hair and brown eyes. He’s 6 feet tall, 165 pounds and likely driving a four-door, dark green 2004 Toyota Camry XLE with the Utah license plate B154VZ.

    On Friday, a private funeral service was held for Flint in her hometown of Provo, Utah. In San Diego, loved ones held a candlelight vigil for Flint on Dec. 28.

    A private funeral service was held for Salvatore on Dec. 31. Then, on Jan. 1, about 100 loved ones gathered for a public memorial for Salvatore at Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach – one of Salvatore’s favorite surfing spots.

    At that vigil, Donato begged the public for help finding Gianni, saying:

    "If you've seen the car, seen him, think you've seen him, please report it to Crime Stoppers, San Diego PD, to the news media, anybody. We need any clues we can get our hands on to bring him home to put a little closure to this whole nightmare that we're living right now."

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