SAN DIEGO (KTLA) — Investigators were trying to determine on Wednesday if human remains found in Panama were those of missing Carlsbad woman, Yvonne Baldelli, the Panama-Guide newspaper reported.
A man who lives on Isla Carenero in the Bocas del Toro region came across a “green military style” backpack discarded in the jungle, law enforcement said.
When he looked inside the bag, he saw a human skull and notified authorities immediately, the newspaper reported.
Baldelli was last seen on Carenero Island on Nov. 26, 2011.
She and boyfriend Brian Karl Brimager moved to Panama in September 2011.
Brimager played the guitar in bars for tips, and Baldelli served as his manager, family members said.
After her disappearance, Brimager reportedly told people Baldelli left him for another man and moved to Costa Rica.
In June 2013, the former Marine was arrested on charges of obstructing justice and making false statements to authorities after the Baldelli’s disappearance.
He later pleaded not guilty to all charges in a San Diego Court.
Brimager allegedly “created a cover story to explain her whereabouts …” and “… 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,” according to a federal indictment.
“He destroyed evidence, including a blood-stained mattress … he made withdrawals from Miss Baldelli’s bank account on two separate occasions to make it appear as though she were still alive,” Deputy Chief U.S. Attorney Hamilton Arendsen said.
At the time of his arrest Brimager was not charged with murder, but did face 10 counts of obstruction of justice, each of which carries a penalty of 20 years in prison.
KSWB contributed to this report.