Her body had scratches on the neck, signs of asphyxiation and evidence of a heavy blow to the right temple. Investigators believe she was suffocated Monday night before being dumped in the sewer about several hundred yards from her hotel room.
Hotels guests told Mexican police they heard the couple arguing Monday night, reportedly over their two children. A hotel security guard reported seeing Bruce trying to hit Monica during a heated argument. The hotel's electronic lock system showed the door to the couple's room was opened and closed at least 11 times that night.
Bruce Beresford-Redman had scratches on his neck and arms. According to an official at the attorney general's office in Quintana Roo state, he told police on Tuesday that his wife had left the hotel to go shopping the previous day and never returned.
Friends and family say the couple had a turbulent relationship, but they can't believe that Bruce Beresford-Redman is suspected in his wife's murder. Many gathered out the Zabumba Restaurant and Bar in Culver City, which the couple owns and Monica Beresford-Redman managed, setting up a memorial of flowers and candles.
"She's going to be very missed," said friend Mariza Alyrio. "I can't believe it's her. I hope he didn't do that. I don't want to believe it. He doesn't seem like that kind of guy."
Friends said the trip to Cancun was a last-minute change of plan. Monica was supposed to fly to Brazil to celebrate her birthday with friends. She would have turned 42 on Thursday.
"We were all happy for her finally because they were on a vacation," said friend Naygee de Lima. "They kept breaking up and coming back for the last months, and it looked like this time was going to be the last time."
Mexican authorities said Bruce flew with the children back to California on Tuesday, then returned to Mexico to report his wife missing.
Friday, the Beresford-Redman's parents were granted temporary custody of the children.
David Beresford-Redman, Bruce's father, released a statement: "My wife and I are grief-stricken at the loss of our beloved daughter-in-law. We know our son loved Monica and would never have harmed her."
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. IMDB also names him as the co-creator of "Pimp My Ride," a popular MTV car makeover show.
The AP contributed to this report.