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Service held to honor Monica Beresford-Redman

May 28, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Friends and family gathered at a memorial service for Monica Beresford-Redman, who was slain while vacationing with her husband in Cancun, Mexico.The private Sunday service took place at the Agape International Spiritual Center. Though the service was filled with many of Monica's loved ones, her two children, 5-year-old Camilla and 3-year-old Alec did not attend the funeral, based on concerns by their therapist and a court ruling on Friday.

Monica's family members urged that the service is something that the kids should witness, but L.A. Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff ruled that the children are not ready for such an observance.

Monica's body was found outside the Moon Palace Hotel in Cancun where she and her husband Bruce Beresford-Redman were vacationing. She had been beaten and strangled. Mexican authorities have labeled Bruce as a person of interest since the start of the homicide investigation.

Authorities in Cancun told Bruce to remain in the country, but he left and returned to California after his attorney claimed that Bruce was under no legal restraint to stay in Mexico.

Currently, the couple's children are under the guardianship of Bruce's parents. The kids know that their mother is dead, but they do not know that their father is the prime suspect in her murder. The Quintana Roo attorney general announced a murder charge is imminent in the case.

ABC News learned that Bruce bought two life insurance policies for each member of his family, just days before their trip.

One policy from HTH Worldwide Insurance would pay $50,000 in case of accidental death while traveling. The second policy from InsureMyTrip.com would pay a considerably higher amount of $500,000. This has further angered Monica's friends and family.

"We are praying to god to please, put this monster away behind bars," said Monica's friend Jane Guimaras.

Bruce's attorney said that the children are the beneficiaries listed on those insurance policies and not Bruce. He also said that if his client is charged with murder, they'll fight extradition to Mexico.

People who attended the three-hour ceremony said it was a beautiful service and there was no mention of her husband.

"People came from Brazil to this 'home going,'" described Monica's friend and longtime personal trainer Jerry Johnson. "She was a loving person. I just know that she wasn't supposed to die like this. In my heart, she wasn't. She was like a light house with a lot of energy."

Johnson described the service as having a happy, uplifting mood rather than being sad.

Monica was well known and respected in L.A.'s Brazilian community. Her murder has stunned the many people whose lives she helped enrich.

"Just remembering the good that she did and the love that she spread and the generosity that she carried wherever she went. Now, she's resting in peace," said Monica's friend Bruna Sakanol.

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