Crime - Sacto 911

Maui woman vanished in 2014. Ex-boyfriend faces Sacramento judge on murder indictment

More than five years after a woman’s disappearance and presumed slaying on the Hawaiian island of Maui, her ex-boyfriend stood in a Sacramento courtroom with a question for the judge.

“I’m the person who committed the felony that they’re charging?” Bernard Anthony Brown asked Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Savage on Tuesday afternoon.

Days removed from a Maui grand jury’s indictment, Hawaii authorities say Brown’s their man. They have 30 days to extradite Brown, 48, back to the island for the murder of Maui woman Moreira “Mo” Monsalve, a 46-year-old mother of three missing since 2014.

Until then, Brown sits in a cell at Sacramento County Main Jail on a no-bail fugitive felony warrant out of Hawaii connected to Monsalve’s suspected killing.

Monsalve’s body has not been found, but a Maui grand jury on Sept. 20 indicted Brown on suspicion of murder and agents from the FBI’s violent crimes task force and Sacramento police picked up Brown on a no-bail fugitive felony warrant, Hawaii News Now reported.

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

Brown’s bail in Maui has been set at $1 million, said Maui police in a Sept. 20 statement announcing the indictment.

Hawaii authorities say Monsalve was last seen Jan. 12, 2014, at Brown’s home in Wailuku, Maui, about 90 minutes from Honolulu.

Family and neighbors told the news network that Brown had been abusive. Authorities on the island had long considered Brown a “person of interest.”

Calls to Maui County Prosecuting Attorney’s office and city officials were not immediately returned Tuesday.

Maui police in their announcement said Mayor Michael Victorino was informed of the Sacramento arrest and said Victorino thanked authorities for “bringing some closure to this matter.”

Darrell Smith covers courts and California news for The Sacramento Bee. He joined The Bee in 2006 and previously worked at newspapers in Palm Springs, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Marysville. A Sacramento Valley native, Smith was born and raised at Beale Air Force Base, near Marysville.