The family of Hollywood wife Monica Beresford-Redman says it is breathing a sigh of relief that Mexican authorities have filed murder charges against her husband, and is bracing itself for what looks to be a long, nasty extradition fight.
"I feel it's a great beginning," Monica Beresford-Redman's sister, Jeane Burgos, told "Good Morning America" today. "It's a moment we waited for a long time. It's finally paying off for all the hard work we have done."
Former "Survivor" producer Bruce Beresford-Redman is jailed in California on a warrant based on Mexican charges of aggravated homicide in the death of his wife.
Monica Beresford-Redman's naked body was found seven months ago in a hotel sewer at a posh Cancun resort. Hotel guests later reported hearing screams and loud bangs coming from the couple's hotel room.
Her husband's attorney said his client is innocent and indicated that they plan to fight extradition to Mexico.
"There were two other homicides in that same hotel, so we think police should have looked for other suspects before they arrested our client," Richard Hirsh said.
But court filings in the Mexican murder charge contain evidence that Alison Triessl, a lawyer for Monica Beresford-Redman's family, calls "damning" and "gruesome."
In addition to the screams for help that guests say came from the couple's room, hotel records show that an electronic key was used nine times between midnight and 7 a.m. when Monica Beresford-Redman was reported missing.
Investigators also said that the room the couple stayed in had a view of the sewage tank where her body was found. According to the complaint, a forensic expert found traces of blood on sheets left in the room, as well as on a pillar and the balcony railing.
Prosecutors also said the family's nanny said she'd overheard the couple fighting the night before they left for the Mexico vacation, and that she overheard the husband say they needed to buy a life insurance policy for his wife and himself.
"It was gruesome, and it was really chilling to hear the details and to read it on paper," Triessl, the family lawyer, said. "It was really awful for all of us."
Burgos, the dead woman's sister, said that while they knew some of the details that Mexican authorities included in the filing, "it really destroys us."
"It really puts us in a stressful and difficult position," she said.
Triessl said she expects the extradition battle to be "a long haul."
"I'm sure he'll fight at every turn," she said. "We're willing to continue to fight this until the very end to get justice for Monica."
Burgos and her sister, Carla Burgos, have made repeated trips to Mexico since their sister's death, putting pressure on authorities to charge her husband.
They also fought hard to get investigators there to hold on to Bruce Beresford-Redman's passport so he could not leave the country, but the reality-television producer returned to Los Angeles several weeks after his wife's death.
Her family also fought for custody of the couple's two young children, but a court settlement between the sisters and their brother-in-law's family decided before the Mexican murder charge was filed that the children should remain with Bruce Beresford-Redman's parents.
"We're very worried about them," Carla Burgos said.
The sisters get scheduled visitation with the children, which they cherish.