5 years after a Maui mother’s disappearance, her alleged killer has been arrested

Published: Sep. 21, 2019 at 10:11 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - More than five years after a Maui woman disappeared in Wailuku, her ex-boyfriend has been indicted with her murder, Maui police confirmed.

On Friday, a Maui grand jury indicted Bernard Brown with the murder of Moreira Monsalve.

Brown was taken into custody in California by the FBI Violent Crime Task Force and the Sacramento Police Department and is awaiting extradition back to Maui.

Monsalve’s daughter, Alexis Felicilda, said she’s been waiting for this day for a long time.

“I’m shocked that after five years, we got this done. And I’m sad that it’s out there that she was murdered,” she said. “Of course there’s anger, too. I’m angry that he felt he had the right to end my mother’s life.”

She added, “This man has changed my life.”

Monsalve was last seen alive on Jan. 12, 2014 at Brown’s Wailuku home. The mother of three was 46 at the time.

He had always been a “person of interest” in the case, even after he moved to the mainland.

After Monsalve disappeared, her friends alleged Brown was abusive and that Monsalve had been seeking to end any contact with him.

On the third anniversary of Monsalve’s death, her daughter sought to bring more attention to the case ― in hopes of finding out what happened to her mother.

“I have hope that we will get justice,” Alexis Felicilda told Hawaii News Now in 2017. “I have hope that we will find her. I have hope that we will have closure.”

After Monsalve’s disappearance, her purse and other belongings were found in a dumpster. But investigators weren’t able to find her body.

Felicilda said authorities told her that this is the first Maui murder case to be prosecuted without a body. It’s just the sixth in the state, she said.

It’s unclear, however, what details the jury considered before agreeing that Brown should be indicted. His bail has been set at $1 million.

This story will be updated.

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