The 48 Hours episode ‘Devil’s Island’ investigates the 2011 disappearance and death of Yvonne Baldelli, girlfriend of U.S. Marine Brian Brimager. Brimager was highly regarded; he assigned to a color guard in Washington, D.C. where he even met President George W. Bush. After serving seven years in the Marine Corps he left the U.S. in 2011 for Bocas del Toro, Panama to “decompress.” He brought Baldelli with him to start a new life. Things started out well but then they started to fight a lot and Baldelli “fell off the radar screen.” She went missing. Brimager tried to cover up her disappearance by sending emails to her family using Baldelli’s email account. While Yvonne’s family searched for her in the swamps and jungles of Panama, Brimager moved back to the States and married a women he met while working at the White House.
After a five year investigation, Brimager admitted to stabbing Baldelli in the back and using a machete to dismember her body. He stuffed her remains into a military-style duffel bag and garbage bags and then hiked a mile into a jungle to dispose of the bags. In 2015, Brimager pleaded not guilty until DNA on the machete matched his. In May 2016, he was sentenced to 26 years in prison. After his sentencing, Yvonne’s sister Michelle Faust spoke to the press, “He killed both of her dogs, he tortured her, and then he murdered her.” Faust added, “In 26 years he’ll be able to be with his family again.” 48 Hours airs at 9pm and 10pm on CBS.