A San Diego man is accused of engaging in an elaborate scheme to cover up the death of Yvonne Baldelli, who went missing in 2011.
Brian Karl Brimager, 37, was indicted by a federal grand jury in San Diego Wednesday on charges that he obstructed justice and made false statements to law enforcement. He was arrested by FBI agents at his Vista home Wednesday morning without incident.
Brimager allegedly sent fake emails, gave false information to law enforcement, and made it appear to friends and family that Baldelli was still alive and traveling with another man in Costa Rica.
The indictment states that in September 2011, Brimager and Baldelli went to Bocas del Toro, Panama, from Los Angeles. They then rented a room inside a hostel on Isla Carenero, a small island near Bocas reachable only by boat.
The U.S. Attorney’s office alleges that Brimager physically abused Baldelli, and she was last seen at a restaurant with him on Nov. 26, 2011.
After Baldelli’s disappearance, Brimager allegedly covered up her death by sending emails from her laptop pretending to be Baldelli, saying she was traveling to Costa Rica. He’s also accused of using her ATM card in Costa Rica during a two-day layover, and also using her card in San Jose to make it appear as though she was alive.
“Brimager impersonated Baldelli over email in an attempt to trick her friends and family into believing she was still alive, thereby obstructing, influencing and impeding investigation into her disappearance and suspected death,” the indictment said.
He is also accused of disposing of key evidence from the hostel: A bloody mattress.
Brimager allegedly dumped the mattress in the ocean, and previously conducted two internet searches on her computer, seeking how to wash a mattress of a blood stain.
The indictment also alleges that Brimager got rid of Baldelli’s belongings by packing the items into 10 large garbage bags and leaving them on the dock outside the hostel for disposal.
He then allegedly lied to investigators, saying she took her laptop to travel. That same laptop was found in Brimager’s possession last year, which he then allegedly tried to cover up by saying the laptop never went to Panama and he never sent emails from that device.
Brimager now faces 10 counts of obstruction of justice and one count of false statement to a federal officer. He faces a maximum sentence of 205 years in prison and a $2.5 million fine if found guilty of all charges.
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