TODAY   |  April 12, 2010

TV producer still a suspect in wife’s death

After his wife’s body was found in a Cancun hotel sewer, investigators remain focused on Bruce Beresford-Redman because of his inconsistent stories.  NBC’s Miguel Almaguer reports and former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt discusses the case.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> tomorrow on "today."

>>> a person of interest in his wife's murder in mexico , miguel almaguer is in cancun this morning.

>> reporter: ann , good morning. bruce beck told police he last saw his wife before she went shopping but investigators tell us he's their focus because of his, quote , inconsistent story . her body was discovered in the sewer not far from the hotel room she shared with her husband and children. according to investigators, she was likely strangled. her husband, bruce , who reportedly has scratch marks on his neck, was questioned by police in cancun , released and told not to leave the country

>> translator: without a doubt, we have him as a person of interest because of his contradictions in his statement.

>> reporter: friends say they had a strained marriage. bruce was a producer for cbs ' smash show "survivor" and helped create mtv's hit "pump my ride." monica ran a successful brazilian restaurant in los angeles for more than a decade. families say they came to cancun to reconcile their marriage. the day before she was reported missing, hotel guests heard a loud confrontation in the couple's room.

>> some time during the evening , i was awakened by a violent argument with a man and a woman shouting at each other, screaming.

>> reporter: when detectives found monica 's body on her 42nd birthday, investigators spent days combing the crime scene and their upscale hotel room zplt reason we came here, it was probably the most secure place we could find. it can happen anywhere, i guess .

>> reporter: while bruce has avoided media attention in mexico , court documents in los angeles show his parents moved quickly to take temporary custody of his children, 3 and 5. the kids, likely unaware their father is being questioned in their mother 's murder. he has a lawyer here in mexico , who is in contact with the u.s. consulate's office, but investigators say they have more questions for the producer at his own real-life drama.

>> clint van zandt is an nbc analyst. good morning.

>> hi, ann .

>> they're keeping this man in mechani mexico under suspicion. how long can they keep him?

>> they're working the with the u.s. consulate, u.s. government right now. basically they have a lot of things to resolve, ann . they need to do the autopsy, crime scene , dna analysis . there's quite a bit. i would suggest easily, they may want to keep him at least four weeks or more until they get these results back.

>> already, he has moved from cancun , reportedly, to go to a place in mexico to engage a high-profile mexican attorney. what does this tell us about the situation, that he would go to a mexican attorney, clint?

>> the charges are going to be in mexico . we have agreements with mexico where if a mexican citizen is sentenced, perhaps they could serve their sentence in mexico and vice versa . but right now, there's a lot to do in this investigation, ann . a lot of it centers around a timeline, because it appears from witnesses' statements that what the husband, what bruce says was going on, the contact he had with his wife in these two or three critical days doesn't seem to jive with what the authorities are getting from witnesses. it's those contradictions they're concerned with.

>> how quick will the autopsy be, which i understand is about to be conducted?

>> one important part of that, the victim, we know, she was strangled, has scratches on her and her nude body was found in this sewer. the reason to perhaps remove the clothes would be to make sure any linking physical evidence between the assailant and the victim was lost, carried away . of course, you would want the clothes of any potential suspect. in this case, she has a large wound on her head and part of the question is, did she sustain that in this argument, perhaps, that this witness heard in a room that was shared with her husband or is that an after-effect from having been dropped in that terrible sewer?

>> you're a profiler, so you've seen tons of cases. in looking at what we know so far in this case, what is your bet on whether or not charges will be filed against bruce redmonday?

>> you know the husband and boyfriend are always the first person police look at. they try to rule that person out and move on. it looks like with all the challenges in mechanixico, drug cartels fighting in wars and murders along the u.s./ mexican border , the mexican government really works to keep cancun a safe place . chances that an unknown assailant got into the apartment, committed this terrible crime and why wouldn't an unknown assailant just leave the body where it was, as opposed to dump it some place? there seems to be a lot of behavioral evidence that points to the husband. what it's going to take, of course, is linking physical evidence . right now authorities seem to be focusing in on bruce , the husband, to the lack of anyone else .

>> we'll see how this goes. clin van zandt , thank you for joining us this morning.

>> always a pleasure, ann .