Vigil held for woman shot, killed in Mission Valley on Christmas Eve

Friends, family gather to remember Ilona Flint

SAN DIEGO - A candlelight vigil was held in La Jolla Saturday evening for a woman who was shot and killed in a Mission Valley mall parking lot on Christmas Eve.

Anger and heartbreak could be heard in the voice of Andre Briones as he remembered his friend Ilona Flint.

Briones organized a vigil at La Jolla Shores for Flint, who was his friend and former employee. He was overcome with emotion as he spoke about the young woman who was killed.

"Ilona, if you can hear this, know that we all love you," he said. "We all want you back. We all just want you back."

Flint was gunned down early Christmas Eve morning while sitting with her fiancée's brother, Sal Belvedere, in his car. Both were shot in the head in a Mission Valley parking lot.

10News was told that Flint called 911 saying she had been shot, but by the time medics arrived, they found her dead in the passenger seat. Belvedere died two days later in the hospital.

It was too difficult for Flint's mother to attend the vigil, but Flint's stepfather spoke to the 50 or so people who came.

"The lantern that burns twice as bright lives half as long," her stepfather said. "If that's true, then Ilona, your life burned that much brighter because you lived a fraction of what you should have."

Investigators are desperately searching for Belvedere's brother, Gianni Belvedere, who may have been the last person to see the two alive. He and his green Toyota Camry with Utah license plates are nowhere to be found.

It is still unclear if Gianni is somehow involved in his brother and fiancée's deaths, or if he too is a victim. Yet, questions remain as to who did this, and why.

"We are all in this boat of we don't know what's going on," Briones said. "We just don't know and it is mind-blowing how little information there is out there. It is eating me up and I just don't know."

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