An arrest warrant for murder was issued today for "Survivor" producer Bruce Beresford-Redman who has been linked to the death of his wife in Cancun nearly two months ago.
Francisco Alor, the state attorney general in Quintana Roo state, confirmed that a warrant had been released by a Mexican judge today for the arrest of producer Beresford-Redman.
He said prosecutors would begin extradition proceedings to bring Beresford-Redman back to Mexico from the United States.
Beresford-Redman has been living in Southern California, where he has been living since he slipped out of Mexico more than a week ago despite having been forced to hand over his passport to authorities there.
"Once it is officially determined that he is outside of the country, we will find where he is and ask for international collaboration," Alor said.
Beresford-Redman's lawyer, Richard Hirsch, said that because of the speed with which the warrant was issued, "it appears that this case is being handled in a manner outside the normal procedures in Mexico."
"It is our understanding that the issuance of an arrest warrant normally entails a detailed judicial review that takes anywhere from several weeks to several months," Hirsch said in a statement released late today. "It appears that the way this matter is being handled constitutes a rush to judgment."
He said Beresford-Redman is innocent is prepared to defend himself in court.
Hirsch also released a statement from Beresford-Redman in which the producer professed his love for his wife Monica.
"I am devastated at her loss; and I am incensed at the suggestion that I could have had anything to do with her death," he said in the statement. "I am innocent. 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 and to do what is right not just what is expedient."
Hirsch has said he would fight extradition if his client is charged.
Last week on "Good Morning America," Hirsch suggested Mexican authorities look into other violent incidents that have occurred at the same resort, including a Scottish woman who was found dead last year.
"We hope that the attorney general is not just trying to clear this case off his desk or in any case trying to protect the tourist industry of Cancun," Hirsch said.
Monica Beresford-Redman's body was discovered in a hotel sewer in Cancun, Mexico on April 8. She had apparently been beaten and strangled.
The news of an arrest warrant comes just days after ABC News confirmed Bruce Beresford-Redman took out two life insurance policies on his wife a week before her body was found.
Sources told ABC News last week that one of those life insurance policies paid out $50,000 in case of accidental death while traveling. The other would pay $500,000. The policies were also taken out on the couple's children.
Experts said news of the insurance policies only builds the case against Bruce Beresford-Redman, who Mexican authorities previously named as their sole person of interest in the death of Monica Beresford-Redman.
"It's going to poison the public perception of him, which is a real problem," California criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos said last week. "If charges are filed, this doesn't help his case."
The policies were purchased in late March, one from Worldwide Insurance, the other from InsureMyTrip.com.
"It adds to evidence of motive. They already have quite a bit of that," criminal defense attorney Roy Black told "Good Morning America." "More importantly, it tends to show premeditation."
Richard Hirsch, Beresford-Redman's attorney, confirmed the existence of the policies but said the beneficiaries are the children, not his client.
It's just the latest question mark for Beresford-Redman, who left Mexico more than a week ago without the knowledge of investigators there and returned to his Los Angeles home.
The attorney general in Mexico is calling the crime "first-degree homicide" and said Mexican authorities are willing to work with international authorities to make sure it doesn't go unpunished.
But Black said building a case against Beresford-Redman may not be as easy as some seem to think.
"I don't necessarily think it's a slam-dunk case, because where's the exact evidence of the killing?" he said. "Where is the piece of evidence that he strangled her, that he did this crime, something to connect him directly to this killing?"
Typical evidence, including the presence of DNA, will be harder to work with, because it would be common to find one spouse's DNA on the other, he said.
In Cancun, Monica Beresford-Redman's sister Jeane Burgos said her sister didn't sound happy when they last talked, about 24 hours before she died.
"She always had a positive attitude. She never let herself down," Burgos said. "And, at that moment when I spoke to her, I really felt that her hopes were running out."
According to court filings obtained by TMZ, Monica Beresford-Redman's sister Carla Burgos claims the children were told gruesome details about an accident that never happened.
Bruce Beresford-Redman's mother Juanita told the children, TMZ says Burgos claimed in the legal documents, that "their mother had been hit by a car, fell, and hit her head."
"She further told the children that no one in Mexico knew their mother, so no one could find her until their father finally found her in the hospital," the filing said, according to TMZ, "and at the time she was already dead."
An ABC News camera last week recorded Beresford-Redman driving into the garage of the home he once shared with his wife for the first time since she died.
When asked how he was holding up, Beresford-Redman replied, "I don't even know how to answer that question."
He was seen pitching a tent in the backyard while the couple's two young children watched.
His attorneys have said he left to avoid spending months, if not years, in jail while Mexican authorities build their case.