- - Monday, April 30, 2012

ENSENADA — The widow of a yachtsman killed with two others during a 124-mile race between California and Mexico said Monday that her husband was a veteran sailor and the destruction of their boat is a mystery.

Leslie Rudolph of Manhattan Beach confirmed that Kevin Rudolph, 53, was the third sailor who died in the weekend race between Newport Beach and Ensenada.

The others were William Reed Johnson Jr., 57, of Torrance, Calif., and Joseph Lester Stewart, 64, of Bradenton, Fla. A fourth sailor was missing.

Wreckage of the yacht Aegean was found Saturday near the Mexican border, and there is speculation that a freighter or other large boat hit it in the middle of the night. No distress signals were sent.

Mrs. Rudolph said her husband was competing in the race for the third time with the Aegean’s skipper, Theo Mavromatis of Redondo Beach.

“I didn’t like him doing the races,” she added. “I never liked it. I mean, they were out in the middle of the ocean. I always used to worry.”

However, Mr. Rudolph had no qualms about the event and trusted his friend, she added. “He was a very experienced captain. Nobody understands how this could happen,” she said.

The Rudolphs would have celebrated their 27th anniversary on May 26, and he leaves two grown children, his widow said. Mr. Rudolph and other crewmembers worked for the Raytheon company in El Segundo, she said.

PANAMA

Police eye ex-Marine in missing woman case

PANAMA CITY — Panamanian police named an American ex-Marine as a person of interest Sunday in the disappearance of a 42-year-old California woman last seen on an archipelago near the Costa Rica border.

Police in Panama and the United States haven’t identified Brian Brimager as a suspect as they investigate the case of Yvonne Baldelli, who was reportedly dating Mr. Brimager.

But Panama national police official Alexis Munoz said Sunday that Mr. Brimager had raised investigators’ interest.

Ms. Baldelli’s mother, Lillian Faust, who is in Panama for the investigation, said she thinks her daughter is dead and she begged for Mr. Brimager to tell what he knows about what happened to her.

“My husband, I, the family know that something happened to her. Some people want to say that she’s out there somewhere, but everyone in the family knows that’s not possible,” Mrs. Faust said.

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