Victim's Family Seeks LA DA's Advice in Cancun Killing

District Attorney Steve Cooley met briefly with a sister to Monica Beresford-Redman, says staffer

The family of a local woman slain in Mexico has asked for advice from Los Angeles County prosecutors about how her apparent murder will be handled, said a District Attorney's spokeswoman Tuesday.

Sandi Gibbons said her boss, District Attorney Steve Cooley, met briefly with a sister to Monica Beresford-Redman and introduced her to members of her staff Monday.

"We did meet with one of the victim's sister and her attorney, and they talked with a couple of people on our staff," Gibbons said. "But this is a Mexican murder investigation, and we have no role in the case."

Bruce Beresford-Redman left Cancun on Friday after being released from custody to meet with his attorney 200 miles west of Cancun. He will remain in Merida, Mexico, under the supervision of the U.S. Consulate's Office until the investigation into the death of his wife Monica is complete.

Mexican news agencies report that the former "Survivor" producer is effectively under house arrest and has been told not to leave the nation. He has hired a prominent defense attorney, Eduardo Amerena.

According to sources close to the investigation, Bruce Beresford-Redman was released from custody because there wasn't "sufficient evidence to hold him," but investigators believe he could soon be back in their custody after they finish chasing their leads.

Authorities are waiting for autopsy results, which will take anywhere from eight days to three weeks. Mexican officials announced on Saturday that federal authorities are taking over the autopsy.

Monica Beresford-Redman's body was found dumped in a septic tank at the Hotel Moon Palace in Cancun a week ago, on what would have been her 42nd birthday. The Brazilian native owned the Zabumba Restaurant in West Los Angeles.

Internet gossip sites have reported that the couple had gone with their two small children to Cancun to reconcile after a fight over a six-month affair the TV producer was supposedly having with a casting director.

The slain woman's sisters, Carla and Jeane Burgos, referred to the victim by her maiden name when they issued a statement through an attorney.

Their attorney released the following statement:

"Carla and Jeane Burgos are in mourning over the loss of their beloved sister, Monica.  Both are committed to making sure that justice is served for Monica.  Carla and Jeane both wish to share the full details of their story when it is appropriate to do so.  For now, we have asked the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office to assist in any way that they can in the ongoing investigation into the murder of Monica Burgos."

According to Cancun police, the couple was heard having a fight, with furniture possibly being thrown, on the morning of April 5. The next day, Bruce told police Monica had disappeared on a shopping trip. Her body was found on April 8, three days later in a cesspool several hundred feet from the room where they were staying at the swanky resort area.

The restaurant owner's sisters reportedly made a statement in Cancun to state prosecutors on Friday, a move that under Mexican law is called filing a charge. But police have not formally informed the producer of any charges, and have not read yet him a formal statement of his rights, according to Mexican news reports.

Who Is Bruce Beresford-Redman?

Bruce Beresford-Redman was a producer for several episodes of the Emmy-nominated CBS reality show "Survivor," including "The Amazon" and "Marquesas" seasons, but was not currently working with the program, according to his profile on IMDb.com.

The Internet Movie Database also names him as the co-creator of "Pimp My Ride," a popular MTV car makeover show, and as an executive producer for "Crash Course," a driving game show produced by A. Smith & Co. Productions that aired on ABC last summer.

Beresford-Redman was nominated for three Emmys for his work on "Survivor," the long-running reality TV competition that strands tribes of strangers in remote locales to outwit, outplay and outlast each other for a $1 million prize.

Bruce Beresford-Redman worked for reality TV giant Mark Burnett, who produces "Survivor" and is currently producing Sarah Palin's eight-part series about her home state of Alaska.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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