'Survivor' producer's lawyer says hotel where wife died had history of crime and violence
LOS ANGELES – LOS ANGELES (AP) — Long before the body of a TV producer's wife was found in a sewer, the Mexican luxury resort where they were staying had a strange history of crime and violence, a lawyer for Bruce Beresford-Redman said Wednesday.
Attorney Richard Hirsch told The Associated Press that his initial investigation has uncovered two suspicious deaths and an attempted rape by an employee at the Moon Palace Hotel in Cancun, Mexico.
"There's weird things going on there and they should investigate that before they try to indict Bruce," Hirsch said in an interview. "They should not rush to judgment before they investigate other options."
A hotel representative could not immediately be reached for comment.
Hirsch said his client, who returned to the United States last weekend, insists he is innocent in the death of his wife, Monica Beresford-Redman.
Her body was found April 8 in a sewer at the Moon Palace Hotel resort, where the couple and their children were vacationing.
Bruce Beresford-Redman, a former "Survivor" producer, has been considered a suspect by Mexican investigators and he had been ordered to remain in that country while the investigation proceeded. But his lawyer said he returned to be with his children and attend to family and personal matters.
Hirsch said Beresford-Redman, who has not been charged with a crime, had no legal obligation to remain in Mexico.
Hirsch said Mexican authorities should be following leads to other suspects rather than focusing exclusively on Beresford-Redman.
The attorney said his office learned that on June 16, 2009, a Scottish woman, Julia Howard, 77, who was a resident of the hotel, disappeared and was found beaten to death.
In 2007, records show that a Canadian, Jeff Toews, checked into the Moon Palace and was later found dead, having suffered a fall from his third floor balcony, Hirsch said.
"His family insists that his wounds were clearly the result of a beating," said Hirsch.
The attorney also said he was contacted by a Baltimore dentist who said that on April 30, his daughter was the victim of an attempted rape by an employee of the hotel who management said was later fired.
In addition, Hirsch said he has received calls from people who attended a large American business conference at the hotel on May 6. "They were warned to keep their doors locked," Hirsch said.
No one answered phone calls to the Moon Palace's press representative seeking comment on the allegations.
Beresford-Redman has said his wife went out shopping and never returned. He reported her missing two days after she disappeared. Police said her body showed signs of asphyxiation and a blow to the temple.
The children were subsequently taken back to California where they have become the subject of a custody battle between relatives.