Discovery of remains is new twist in Boca murder investigation

The case of a U.S. woman missing in Panamá may become an active murder investigation.

The Panama News is reporting that fishermen found human remains at Isla Carenero in Bocas de Toro and the DNA tests are under way to see if the remains are those of  Yvonne Baldelli.

Ms. Baldelli, then 42, was visiting the area with a boyfriend. She vanished Nov. 26, 2011, and a U.S. attorney in California has charged the boyfriend with obstructing justice and lying to a federal officer.

The former boyfriend is Brian Carl Brimager. The indictment, which was unsealed in late June accused the man of using the woman’s personal computer, her email account and automatic teller card to make relatives believe that the woman had left him and was traveling to Costa Rica with another man.

The indictment said that the deception went on for weeks as Brimager returned to the United States and married another woman. One email, which the FBI regards as fake, told relatives that Ms. Baldelli  was enjoying herself while attending the Festival de la Luz in San José.

The FBI alleged that Brimager went so far as to get rid of the woman’s dog.

Technically, the effort in Panamá became a murder investigation May 18, 2012, but there was little for agents there to go on.

The couple were staying at the Casa de Sapo in Bocas, and the murder is alleged to have taken place at a time when the owner of the small hostel broke her leg and had to find medical care elsewhere.

The couple entered Panamá Sept. 26, 2011. The indictment alleges that Brimager killed the woman late Nov. 26 or early Nov. 27, 2011. Brimager returned to California Dec. 12 of that year.

Part of the obstruction charge stems from the allegation that after returning to California Brimager continued to send emails impersonating the missing woman thereby delaying the start of an investigation.

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