A body found last week in a parked car in Riverside, Calif., has been identified as a 24-year-old man whose brother and fiancee were shot to death on Christmas Eve, and police said today they are now searching for a person of interest.
Gianni Belvedere's body was discovered in his green Camry on Jan. 17, more than 100 miles from where his fiancée Ilona Flint, 22, and his brother Salvatore, 22, were found dead with gunshot wounds at the Westfield Mission Valley mall on Christmas Eve.
Belvedere's death is being investigated as a homicide based on preliminary autopsy results, police said.
For weeks, investigators searched for Belvedere, who was not named a suspect, but was considered a missing person at risk. At first, authorities believed a love triangle could be a possible motive. Police now say they're on the hunt for a killer on the loose.
"The person we are looking for is unknown race male, 5 to 6 feet tall," San Diego police homicide Lt. Mike Hastings said Friday at a news conference.
The Belvedere family is offering a $10,000 reward to capture and convict the suspect or suspects involved. Hastings did not disclose Belvedere's cause of death and said final autopsy results weren't expected for weeks.
"It's hard to fathom where this goes," former FBI agent Brad Garrett said. "They were killed because of some revenge or some payoff or some version of that."
According to emergency dispatch audio from Christmas Eve, witnesses told police they saw a male walking from the back away from the victim's vehicle and getting into another vehicle before driving away.
The last known sighting of Gianni Belvedere was in Mission Valley about three hours before the shootings at the mall, authorities said.