Contributed by: Don WinnerA former Marine was indicted Friday in the 2011 murder of an Orange County woman in Panama.
Brian Karl Brimager, 37, has been in custody since 2013.
The criminal case was slowed by extradition proceedings and a request from San Diego federal prosecutors to the Department of Justice to seek an indictment of Brimager on a little-used law involving a murder in a foreign land.
That permission granted, Brimager was indicted on a first-degree murder charge in the death of girlfriend Yvonne Baldelli, 42, who had lived in Dana Point. Her body was not found until 2013.
The two had moved to Isla Carenero, Panama, in 2011 but their relationship was marked by domestic violence, according to the federal indictment. Brimager killed Baldelli in November 2011, dismembered her body and disposed of the body parts in the jungle, according to the indictment.
Within hours of killing Baldelli, Brimager used her computer to do searches for information about "washing mattress" and "washing mattress blood stain."
While living with Baldelli, Brimager was emailing a woman in the United States with whom he had had a child, saying that he planned to return so the two could live together, according to prosecutors.
Brimager pleaded not guilty Friday to murder, obstruction of justice and making false statements to a federal officer. (NBC Los Angeles)
Editor's Comment: So, in the end they decided to prosecute Brimager in the US instead of trying to extradite him back to Panama to face murder charges. Part of me wishes Brimager would have spent the rest of his life rotting in a Panamanian hell-hole of a prison. But at the same time, there's a greater chance that he will be convicted and sentenced in the not-as-corrupt US justice system. In Panama, anyone can buy their way out of anything, including murder.