Relative: Missing man may be hiding out in Utah - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 -

Relative: Missing man may be hiding out in Utah

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(CBS 8) - A relative of a man who went missing after a fatal double-shooting in Mission Valley spoke to CBS News 8 Thursday.

We spoke to Gianni Belvedere's uncle Otto from his home in Provo, Utah. He says on Thursday morning he got a call from a San Diego police detective asking for information on where Gianni could be, but told him nothing about the investigation. Since Gianni is from Utah, his uncle is adamant he's alive and hiding out there, but he doesn't know where.

Gianni's uncle spoke with the CBS affiliate KUTV in Utah about his nephew's disappearance.

"I think he just ran away, he just got scared to death and ran away. He must have seen what happened," Otto said.

Gianni hasn't been seen since Christmas Eve morning when his brother Salvatore and Gianni's fiancee were both shot in the head inside a black sedan outside the Macy's store in the Mission Valley Mall.

"It is said he was there, he was there, they know he was there," Otto said.

Gianni's uncle clarified with CBS News 8 on the phone Thursday what police have told the family.

"After checking with them (my nieces), evidently it's not what they said," Otto said.

Rather, officers believe Gianni is a missing person and not a suspect.

"I know my nephew and we don't believe that he did something like this, but I don't really know what could happen," Otto said.

Police also do not know if Gianni is a victim.

"We don't know if he was kidnapped. We have no clue what happened," Otto said.

But no one can say why Gianni would be kidnapped, and Otto doesn't believe Ilona and Salvatore had a secret relationship, like some suspect.

"Love triangle? No," he said.

While they continue to search for Gianni, Otto says he just feels helpless.

"That is the thing that is the most excruciating, is knowing that my nephew the way that I do and not being able to find him and especially if he is here and not responding. It's pretty hard," he said.

Otto Belvedere believes his nephew is in Utah because he grew up there and lived in Provo for 12 years. He says San Diego police detectives called Thursday morning to ask questions.  

"Since he grew up here we are seeing if there are any friends that might know or seen him or any clues whatsoever," he said.

The uncle says Salvatore had just come back from working in Oregon at a relative's restaurant and doesn't believe Gianni would be in Oregon. 

"He doesn't know anyone up in Oregon except his sister and he's never lived there, he went to visit there. The best would be here because he grew up here, he went to school here, finished school here," said Otto Belvedere.  

Corporal Todd Johnson with Utah Highway Patrol says San Diego police asked for assistance in locating Gianni Belvedere. On Monday UHP released a "be on the lookout" for Gianni Belvedere and his dark green Toyota Camry in Salt Lake City and surrounding cities including Provo.  

 Gianni Leonardo Belvedere is white, about 6 feet tall and 165 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. His vehicle is a dark green four-door 2004 Toyota Camry XLE with the Utah license plate B154VZ.

There is a public fund set up for Salvatore Belveder's family online at go fund me.

The reward for information that leads to Gianni Belvedere has been increased to $10,000.  

Anyone with information was asked to call SDPD homicide unit adult missing person's section at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477. 

There are conflicting stories if Salvator was picking up Ilona Flint from work or if the three were shopping at Westfield's Mission Valley mall.

The only store CBS News 8 is aware that was open during the time of the shooting was Macy's.

Representatives with the mall have not confirmed if there were other stores open past 1:00 a.m. on Christmas Eve.

Otto Belvedere says Ilona Flint's funeral will be held on Friday in Provo.

Donations for her family and funeral expenses can be made at any Wells Fargo bank branch.


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