Mother of accused 'Survivor' producer: 'I know he is innocent'

Dec. 20, 2011 at 8:44 AM ET

Bruce Beresford-Redman may not be able to share his thoughts with the public, but the former "Survivor" producer, now accused of murdering his wife Monica, is getting his side heard via his mother, Juanita Beresford-Redman.

Juanita joined TODAY's Ann Curry to talk about her son, who has been held in a federal detention center since Nov. 2010, and while there has been prevented from speaking to the press.

How are they all doing? "It’s living in a nightmare but we’re healthy and the children are a joy, and they keep you going," said Juanita.

Bruce, his wife and their two young children were vacationing in a Cancun, Mexico resort in the spring of 2010 when she went missing. She turned up three days later strangled in a sewer, and despite being asked by officials to remain in Mexico, Bruce returned to the United States. Now the U.S. and Mexico are wrangling over extraditing him back to Mexico to face trial -- something Juanita says Bruce wants to avoid.

"Many of the states in Mexico presume a person is guilty until proved innocent," she said. "It is an entirely different justice system and the evidence against Bruce is all circumstantial. There is no forensic evidence, there is no physical evidence, the crime scene was badly degraded."

Juanita provided Curry with explanations for what is perceived to be key concerns in Bruce's behavior once his wife went missing. First, he didn't report her gone until the following day at 6 p.m., which Juanita says didn't seem like a long time. As for the repeated use of the couple's hotel key the day after she went missing, Juanita said "he was looking for her and then he would come back to check on the children.... You tend to do that when someone's missing and you're nervous."

Juanita admitted Bruce did have problems in his marriage, but said Monica told her they "wanted to stay together as long as they could because of the children." She added, "With everything else aside, there's no way Bruce would have taken their mother away from her children."

The children remain a second center of focus; they're being raised by Juanita and David Beresford-Redman, while Monica's family are fighting to obtain custody of the 7- and 4-year-old children. 

And one key reason Bruce is fighting extradition has little to do with the Mexican justice system, said Juanita -- right now, he can see his children once a week for an hour, and if he is extradited he won't even have that. "It seems to me as long as he can be close to them, he should be," she said.

"I know he is innocent, he is a good man, and of course I trust him completely," said his mother.

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