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Monica Beresford-Redman, wife of Bruce Beresford-Redman, a TV producer who worked on “Survivor” and “Pimp My Ride,” was found dead at a Cancun resort on April 8. Guests at the hotel reported hearing  an argument in the couple’s hotel room.
TODAY contributor
updated 4/19/2010 9:33:58 AM ET 2010-04-19T13:33:58

Monica Beresford-Redman traveled to the romantic resort town of Cancun, Mexico, to try to repair her troubled union to her TV-producer husband Bruce— a marriage that had produced two young children and accusations of his being unfaithful.

She was found dead in a sewer near the couple’s Cancun hotel room, and husband Bruce Beresford-Redman is the lone suspect in her death. And what makes the situation even more excruciating for her sister Jeane is that Jeane had warned Monica not to make the trip.

Speaking with TODAY’s Ann Curry, Jeane Burgos said she told her sister that “it wasn’t the right time” for her to travel in hopes of patching things up with her husband.

“He wasn’t ready for that, he wasn’t ready to give to my sister what she needed,” said Burgos from Santa Monica, Calif., accompanied by another sister, Carla, and their mother, Ely. “They were having serious problems, and she was trying to save her marriage because her family was the most important thing for her.

“But I told her he wasn’t committed, and it wasn’t the time for her to do that; she needed to take care of herself and let him take care of himself because he needed help.”

Troubled trip
Police in Mexico have questioned Beresford-Redman, a former producer for the CBS hit reality competition “Survivor” and the MTV series “Pimp My Ride,” but say they have not been in contact with him for a week. Police are poring over forensic evidence and the timeline surrounding Monica’s death with the possibility that Beresford-Redman, who is not allowed to leave Mexico, will be arrested for murder.

Video: TV producer still a suspect in wife’s death A security guard at the luxury Moon Palace Resort in Cancun reported seeing the couple arguing on the night of April 5, and hotel records show their room’s swipe key was used nearly a dozen times between midnight and 6 a.m. April 6. Beresford-Redman reported his wife missing that day, and two days later, on April 8, she was found dead of apparent strangulation in a hotel sewer on what would have been her 42nd birthday.

Friends and family of Bruce Beresford-Redman, 38, have rallied around him. His parents issued a statement saying their son “loved Monica, and would never have harmed her.” And former “Survivor” contestant and pal Daniel Lue told NBC “the fact that this happened a week ago, and they still haven’t arrested him or charged him with a crime, I think it really tells you something.”

But Monica’s grieving family has given indications they believe Monica died at her husband’s hand. Her sister Carla told the New York Daily News, “I wonder if the whole trip was premeditated.”

Plea for justice
Her mother, Ely Burgos, told Curry on TODAY she wants justice for her daughter.

Image: Monica Beresford-Redman
AP file
Monica Beresford-Redman was “full of life,” her mother said.
“I think there should be justice; everything indicates that it should be so,” she said through an interpreter. “The form with which the crime was committed was terrible, it was horrible. Nobody has a right to destroy a family the way that they did it, no one has that right.”

While the family craves justice, they are also deeply mourning the loss of a woman they say was outgoing, friendly and faithful. A native of Rio de Janeiro, Monica emigrated to the U.S. to make a life for herself, and owned the Brazilian restaurant Zabumba in Venice Beach, Calif.

Video: Ex-'Survivor' producer suspect in wife's killing “She was the strongest and smartest and fun — the life of the party,” her sister Carla Burgos, who described her sister as her best friend, told Curry. “She was always happy; everybody liked her. She was just a wonderful person.

“It was not fair the way that she died, and we need justice for this.”

Mother Ely Burgos told the New York Daily News of the tattered marriage her daughter had with Beresford-Redman.

“He was having an affair,” she alleged. “[My daughter] kicked him out of the house and told him they could go their own ways. He went to live with his parents, but afterward moved back in, crying and insisting that he loved her.”

Police have not yet scheduled a second interview with Bruce Beresford-Redman, and say he has not been seen in Cancun for a week.

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

Video: Family of slain TV producer’s wife speaks out

  1. Closed captioning of: Family of slain TV producer’s wife speaks out

    >>> of the murder of a tv reality producer's wife in cancun . we'll talk to her family exclusively in a moment. first, miguel almaguer is in cancun .

    >> reporter: police say they won't rush this case, methodically going over the evidence. it's a high-profile murder with a suspect, but still no arrests. shortly after police discovered monica beresford redman 's body dumped in a sewer, investigators focused their attention on her husband, bruce . he remains their only suspect, but hasn't been seen by police in cancun for over a week.

    >> translator: me? i haven't heard from him. i don't know if you've talked to him. no? nothing. not a call. no word at all.

    >> reporter: questioned once by detectives, mexican authorities have said beresford redman can't leave the country until forensic tests are complete. police say evidence found on monica 's body and in the couple's hotel room could lead to an arrest.

    >> translator: we sent the tests to our lab in mexico city . the experts are examining it now.

    >> reporter: as they wait for scientific evidence , detectives are building a case, focusing on bruce beresford redman 's time line the night his wife was murdered. police say he was heard arguing with monica inside the couple's hotel room hours after he claimed he saw her. the coroner's report estimates she died a short time later. hotel records show that someone went in and out of the couple's room at least a dozen times between midnight and 6:00 am . two weeks later, monica 's body was discovered not far from the couple's room.

    >> who will be voted out tonight ?

    >> reporter: a producer for cbs ' hit show "survivor," bruce beresford redman hasn't made any statements but has support from a friend and former cast member .

    >> this happened a week ago and they still haven't arrested him or charged him with a crime i think really tells you something.

    >> reporter: after accusations of infidelity, friends say bruce and monica traveled to cancun to work on their marriage. detectives haven't released a motive for murder but monica 's family is demanding answers

    >> translator: obviously, they want justice and that the person responsible is found, tried and convicted.

    >> reporter: two weeks old, a person who is a suspect hasn't been charged with the crime. they'll decide whether bruce beresford redman will be charged with murder after tests come back or whether he will be alloweded to have his passport back. ann ?

    >> thank you. we are joined by monica 's mother and her sisters and attorney and translator. good morning to all of you.

    >> good morning.

    >> let me begin with you, mrs. bergos. what do you want to say about your daughter , monica , and what happens happened to her?

    >> translator: i would like to say that my daughter was a winner. she came to the united states and won. she was a wonderful mother , a fighter and a woman full of lif life.

    >> do you --

    >> translator: and the way she was murdered, she finds herself numbed and desperate. she doesn't know what to do.

    >> carla, you say that monica was your best friend . what do you want to tell us about her?

    >> well, she was the strongest and smartest and fun, the life of the party . she was always happy. everybody liked her. she was just a wonderful person, you know. it was not fair the way it was -- she died and we need justice for this.

    >> let's talk about that. were you concerned, gianni, when you heard she was going to travel to cancun with her husband? what were your concerns?

    >> i told her that wasn't the right time. he wasn't ready for that. he wasn't ready to give to my sister what she needed. they were having serious problems and she was trying to save her marriage, because her family was the most important thing for her. but i told her he wasn't committed and it wasn't the time for her to do that. she needed to take care of herself and let him take care of himself, because he needed help, but she was concerned with the family and with the kids, because that was the most important thing for her.

    >> mrs. bergos, let me ask you this. you say you believe your son-in-law, bruce , should be arrested. what makes you so sure that he is involved in your daughter 's murder?

    >> translator: i think there should be justice. everything indicates that it should be so.

    >> and your -- are you -- sorry. go right ahead .

    >> translator: the form with which the crime was committed was terrible. it was horrible, horrific. there should be justice, whether here or in mexico . she was an american citizen . mexico has to show that there is justice, there is the law and the laws to do so. nobody has the right to destroy a family & in the way that they did it. no one has that right.

    >> we should probably mention that bruce has not been charged with any crime so far. i also need to mention that your family wants to bring monica 's body back to los angeles for burial and, as a result, you're having a memorial so that you can raise the money to do that. carla, gianni, ellie bergos and andrea ferros, thank you for joining us as well.

    >>> now let's get a check


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