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Accused TV producer back in L.A. from Cancun

May 24, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A former reality TV producer whose wife was found murdered in Mexico is back in Southern California, despite orders not to leave the country. Shocked, his slain wife's family spoke out about his surprise return.Investigators say the case is still in the hands of Mexican police and Mexican prosecutors. Mexican authorities describe Bruce Beresford-Redman as a suspect, although he's not been charged with his wife Monica's murder.

All evidence shows there was no indication they knew he was going to leave the country. Instead he's been seen in Rancho Palos Verdes, coming and going freely from his house.

Pictures have been released of Beresford-Redman as he emerged from seclusion. Mexican investigators have told him to stay in Cancun as they gathered evidence in the murder of his wife Monica. They seized his passport.

But Beresford-Redman journeyed back to his home without it. Beresford-Redman is the sole person of interest in the case.

Monica Beresford-Redman's sisters implied that Bruce had a motive to kill her, that he had an affair that put the marriage on the rocks.

Eyewitness News caught up with the sisters in court Monday. They lost a bid to get temporary guardianship of the couple's two children last week. Bruce's parents were granted temporary custody of the kids.

Monday, the issue was Zabumba, the Palms restaurant that Monica has operated. Bruce wanted control. The judge said no.

"Now Zabumba will remain open and the Burgos sisters can run it in their sister's honor. And we're very happy for that," said attorney Alison Triessl.

The sisters are frustrated with the slow pace of the investigation in Mexico. This weekend, as they ended a daylong visitation with the children, they were angered to learn that Mexican authorities wanted to question Bruce and could not find him.

Bruce's attorney issued a statement saying that the producer had no legal obligation to remain in Mexico. He had not been charged. But the Mexican prosecutor in charge of the case said over the weekend that it would be a delicate and serious matter if Beresford-Redman left the country.

Monday, at Bruce's home, his father referred all questions about his travels to his attorney. The attorney said he had no comment.

In cases like this, the FBI often monitors a person of interest for a foreign government, if the foreign government requests it. It isn't known if that is happening in the case. So now everyone is remaining tight-lipped about the new developments waiting for the outcome of the investigation.

The Burgos family (Monica's family) released a statement through their lawyer, Alison Triessl:

"The Burgos family is in shock over Bruce Beresford-Redman's sudden return to the United States. It is our understanding that he was to remain in Mexico until the investigation into Monica's death was concluded. As Mr. Beresford-Redman is certainly aware, the investigation remains ongoing with test results to be released early this week. It is further our understanding that his passport was not returned to him by Mexican authorities. Thus, we question how it was possible that he was permitted to enter into this country without a passport and it leads us to conclude that he could just as easily leave this country undetected. We plead with Mr. Beresford-Redman that if he intends to run again that he not involve the children."

Beresford-Redman's entire neighborhood is still shocked by Monica death.

"He was down in Mexico for almost two months and they had time to indict him but they didn't do anything," said Beresford-Redman's neighbor Steve Wheeler.

"I never heard him yell. I've never really seen him mad. He's the kind of guy who doesn't seem like he ever gets mad," said Wheeler.

It's unclear how long Beresford-Redman will be in town, but his neighbors say that he will always be welcome.

Beresford-Redman's attorney says that the TV producer is still very much devastated over the loss of his wife. Mexican authorities admit that there is no court order keeping him in the country.


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