RIVERSIDE – A body found in the trunk of a car in Riverside was identified today as that of a missing 24-year-old man whose fiancee and brother were fatally shot in Mission Valley in San Diego County on Christmas Eve.
Gianni Belvedere’s body was found the afternoon of Jan. 17 by Riverside authorities based on a report about a foul odor coming from a car parked near a fast-food restaurant on Van Buren Boulevard, according to Riverside County sheriff’s Detective Rick Wheeler. His death has been ruled a homicide.
Investigators had been looking for Belvedere and his dark-green 2004 Toyota Camry with Utah license plates since the Tierrasanta resident’s younger brother and fiancee were found shot to death at Westfield Mission Valley mall early Dec. 24.
San Diego police did not name Belvedere as a suspect in the killings of Salvatore Belvedere and Ilona Flint, both 22, but listed him as a missing person at-risk.
About 1:15 a.m. Dec. 24, police found Flint and Salvatore Belvedere fatally shot in a car near a Christmas tree lot at the mall on Camino del Rio North. The mall was open late for last-minute shoppers, according to homicide Lt. Mike Hastings. Both were shot in the head.
Flint, who managed to make a 911 call after being shot, died moments later. Salvatore Belvedere died in a hospital several days later.
The last known sighting of the older brother was in Mission Valley about three hours before the shootings at the mall, authorities said. A relative said Gianni Belvedere went to the mall with the victims the night of the shooting, though police disputed that.