Retired US Marine charged over girlfriend's Panama murder

Retired US Marine charged over girlfriend's Panama murder

LOS ANGELES - A retired US Marine was charged Friday with murdering his girlfriend, dismembering her body and dumping her remains in a jungle in Panama, the Department of Justice said.

Brian Karl Brimager, 37, was indicted by a federal grand jury in San Diego, California on first degree murder charges over the death of Los Angeles woman Yvonne Baldelli.

In September 2011 the couple moved from Los Angeles to the archipelago of Bocas del Toro, in Panama, renting a room on an island reachable only by boat, the Department of Justice said in a statement, citing the indictment.

It alleges that Brimager was emailing another girlfriend, the mother of his young daughter, and meanwhile beating Baldelli.

In November that year Brimager murdered Baldelli, dismembered her body and disposed of its parts in a remote jungle area, according to the indictment, before conducting an elaborate scheme to cover his tracks.

It included sending emails from Baldelli's email account pretending to be her and using her bank card to withdraw money from ATMs.

Baldelli's remains were not found until almost two years after her murder.

Brimager, in US custody since June 2013 on other charges related to the murder, was arraigned in court and pleaded not guilty.

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