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Mexico issues arrest warrant for former 'Survivor' producer in wife's death at Cancun resort [Updated]

May 31, 2010 |  3:11 pm

Beresford-redman Mexican authorities issued an arrest warrant Monday for Bruce Beresford-Redman, former producer of the “Survivor” reality show, in connection with the death of his wife at a Cancun resort, a Mexican official confirmed.

Francisco Antonio Alor Quezada, attorney general for the southern Mexican state of Quintana Roo, said a judge in Cancun had issued an “order of arrest” against Beresford for the crime of “qualified homicide” in the death of his wife, Monica Beresford-Redman, 41, who was apparently strangled.

“The order of arrest is confirmed,” Alor said in a telephone interview from Mexico.

The wife died of “asphyxia by suffocation,” Alor said.

Beresford-Redman, 39, who is back in the United States, has denied any involvement in his wife’s death. [Corrected at 3:28 p.m.: An earlier version incorrectly gave Beresford-Redman's age as 38.]

In a statement issued Monday by his attorney, Richard G. Hirsch, Beresford-Redman said he was “incensed at the suggestion that I could have had anything to do with her death.”

“I am innocent," he said in the statement. "My children have had one parent taken from them by a senseless act of violence. I implore the Mexican authorities not to take their remaining parent by a miscarriage of justice.” 

Alor said authorities would pursue extradition if necessary and that Interpol, the international police agency, would be informed. But he added that Mexican officials were unaware of the suspect’s whereabouts.

“As far as we’re concerned, he’s still in Mexico,” said Alor.

His wife’s body was found April 8 in a septic tank at the luxury hotel where they were staying outside the resort of Cancun. Family members have said the couple had gone to Mexico in an effort to repair a marriage that had been fraying in recent months.

Authorities in Mexico seized Beresford-Redman’s passport and Mexican immigration documents after his wife was found, said Alor. Police questioned him and he agreed to remain in Mexico while the matter was under investigation, Alor said.

However, Beresford-Redman returned to the United States and has reportedly been seen at his home in Rancho Palos Verdes. How he came back into the country without a passport was not clear.

His lawyer has said Beresford-Redman was under no obligation to remain in Mexico. The news of an arrest warrant, Hirsch said, “is extremely disturbing since it appears that this case is being handled in a manner outside the normal procedures in Mexico.”

He said he feared “a rush to judgment,” since such a case usually involved “a detailed judicial review that takes anywhere from several weeks to several months.”

The Emmy-nominated producer, best known for his work on two hit reality shows — CBS’ “Survivor” and MTV’s “Pimp My Ride” — reported his wife missing April 6 in Mexico. He told Mexican police he had last seen her the previous day, when she had left their hotel to go shopping.

-- Patrick J. McDonnell

Photo: Bruce Beresford-Redman and his wife, Monica. Credit: Family handout