Maui Mom Vanished in 2014 and Has Never Been Found -- Now Ex Is Charged With Murder
Moreira Monsalve, 46, was last seen at the home of her ex-boyfriend, Bernard Brown, who moved to California shortly after she disappeared, say police
Alexis Felicilda has been searching for answers in her mother’s mysterious disappearance since 2014.
Now, more than five years after Moreira “Mo” Monsalve, 46, vanished in Wailuku, Maui, her ex-boyfriend has been charged in her murder, the Maui Police Department says in a release.
On Friday, a grand jury in Maui indicted Bernard Brown and charged him with second-degree murder, the Maui Police Department says.
Brown was taken into custody by the FBI Violent Crime Task Force and the Sacramento Police Department.
His bail has been set at $1 million. He remains held in California as he awaits extradition back to Maui.
He has not yet entered a plea. His public defender did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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A mother of 3, Monsalve was last seen alive on Jan. 12, 2014, in Wailuku, say police, local station KHON2 reports.
She dropped her daughter off at Kahului Airport at about 4 p.m. and was last seen that night at Brown’s apartment in Wailuku, say police, The Maui News reports.
Two days later, her purse and other belongings were found in a nearby dumpster, Hawaii News Now and other outlets reported at the time.
She has never been found.
Three weeks after his girlfriend vanished, Brown moved to California, say police.
He remained a “person of interest” in the case for years as police investigated.
After Monsalve disappeared, her friends and family accused Brown being abusive toward Monsalve, who had wanted to break off their relationship, Hawaii News Now reports.
For Felicilda, the indictment was a long time coming.
“Today was a long day, but it has been what we have been working towards for the past 5 years,” Felicilda wrote on Facebook. “Mahalo to everyone, especially the MPD for helping bring my mother’s murderer to justice. This is just one step in the long road.”
Felicilda told Hawaii News Now she’s feeling a range of emotions since Brown has been charged in her mother’s murder.
“I’m shocked that after five years, we got this done,” she said. “And I’m sad that it’s out there that she was murdered. Of course there’s anger, too. I’m angry that he felt he had the right to end my mother’s life.”
Felicilda set up a Facebook page to ask for tips – and to honor her mom.
On July 25, Felicilda wrote about how much her mother meant to her in a Facebook post about her mom’s death certificate being approved.
“Legally she is now considered Dead by the State of Hawaii,” she wrote. “My emotions are so mixed but one thing I can say is that She was an amazing Mother with a beautiful soul and a very big heart. … I miss her every single day.”