Hearing set for Vista man accused of killing girlfriend in Panama

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SAN DIEGO - A former Marine from Vista charged by a federal grand jury for first-degree murder of his girlfriend in Panama will face a judge Monday in federal court.

A grand jury indictment alleges that Brian Brimager killed Yvonne Baldelli after the couple moved from Orange County in Panama in 2011. Brimager physically abused Baldelli, murdered her and went to great lengths to hide her body, according to court documents.

A grand jury charged Brimager with murder in April after her dismembered remains were found in a Panama swamp.

According to the indictment, it was around that time that Brimager started emailing another woman and told her he planned to move back to California to help raise their daughter. The e-mails did not mention Baldelli.

Brimager is accused of destroying evidence and sending many e-mails to Baldelli's family pretending to be her so her family would think she was still alive.

Brimager plead not guilty to the charges. If convicted, Brimager faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The victim's niece, Lauren Beyer told FOX5 she hopes Monday will be the day a trial date is set for Brimager.

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