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Mystery witnesses sought in Cancun murder

June 29, 2010 5:25:40 PM PDT
A search is on for two mystery witnesses who signed the 2008 will of Monica Beresford-Redman. She was murdered in Cancun and her husband is charged with her killing. Her will is now at the center of a custody battle over their children.Bruce Beresford-Redman has had since May to find the two people. In court Tuesday, it was revealed that they have not been located. Who they are and what they have to say will put to rest a battle over who may get the couple's children in a custody dispute between Monica's family and Bruce.

At issue for the court: Did Monica Beresford-Redman leave behind two legal wills or just one before she was found murdered at the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun?

Two submitted documents name her husband, reality TV producer Bruce Beresford-Redman, as the prime heir. But he could lose everything under what is called the "anti-slayer" statute.

If Bruce is found guilty of killing his wife, he wants his parents, David and Juanita, to inherit her property. He wants a friend in Florida to get custody of the couple's children, Camilla and Alec, not Monica's sisters, who currently only have visitation rights.

"We are happy to be in their lives and give to them what they need," said Jeane Burgos, Monica's sister. "That is what they need: to have fun, have a regular life as much as possible at the moment."

Bruce's attorney said it's all spelled out in Monica's will, signed in 2008. But there is a problem: Names are missing. Who witnessed Monica sign it? There are only illegible signatures.

"These are just somebody's signature and we're simply trying to track down those individuals," said Adrienne Hahn, Bruce's attorney.

In court, Hahn appealed for more time to hunt down the witnesses. Probate Judge Mitchell Beckloff gave them five more weeks.

Monica's sisters maintain a 2004 will, with witnesses spelled out, is the valid document. They would get custody and the children would inherit their mother's property.

Their attorney questions the signatures on Bruce's document.

"It could be anyone in the world and when you are preparing a will, you usually list the person so you can find the witness in the future. It's what estate planners do," said Richard Petty, attorney for the Burgos sisters.

Meantime, Bruce Beresford-Redman is fighting extradition to Mexico. His attorney there has filed a petition saying Mexican police have not thoroughly investigated other people who could have carried out the murder.


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