Former US Marine Charged With Panama Murder

A California man has been charged in federal court with the 2011 murder of his girlfriend who went missing shortly after the couple moved to Panama, where her body turned up in the jungle two years later.

Brian Karl Brimager, 37, a former US Marine, pleaded not guilty Friday to the murder of Yvonne Lee Baldelli, a 42-year old woman who was last seen with him in Panama. 

Prosecutors maintain that after arriving in Panama with Baldelli, Brimager started emailing another woman — the mother of his child — about returning to California, and that he also started to abuse Baldelli. 

After murdering her in their hotel room, they allege, Brimager tried to mount an elaborate cover up, sending emails from Baldelli's account to family and friends and withdrawing money from her bank account in different locations to make it appear she had continued travelling, the prosecution contends. They also say his computer had records of search queries looking for ways to clean a bloody mattress. 

Brimager has been in police custody since 2013 on obstruction of justice and falsifying records charges. 

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