Accused killer breaks his silence
MARCELO Mario Santoro says he is "confused" and "devastated" because of what happened to his ex-partner whose body was found washed up in a Sydney river.
It is the first time the accused killer of Brazilian businesswoman Cecilia Haddad has spoken publicly and he says he will provide answers after being confronted by media.
Mr Santoro flew back to his native Brazil the same late April weekend the 38-year-old mining executive's fully-clothed body was found in Lane Cove River on April 29. He is now officially a suspect in her murder, with an arrest warrant being secured by NSW Police.
Hounded by the Australian press, which has attempted to contact Santoro through social media and in person in Rio de Janeiro on numerous occasions, Nine Network finally reached him in Brazil yesterday.
"My mind is so confused," Mr Santoro told Nine reporter Damian Ryan. "Many reporters and many people call me.
"My life is completely devastated."
When asked why he thinks police are looking to arrest him over the murder, Mr Santoro said he would call back with a "reply".
Ms Haddad's car was found at a railway station before she was discovered dead but details about the cause and location of her death are being tightly guarded by investigators.
She was killed inside her West Ryde apartment building and it is believed the building's garage and her car are also being treated as crime scenes.
It is understood a witness has given a statement to police that he saw Mr Santoro throw a set of keys out of a car as he travelled over Gladesville Bridge.
Last week NSW Police issued a warrant for Mr Santoro's arrest and confirmed they had found keys, believed to be Ms Haddad's, after divers began searching the Parramatta River in early May.
However, Brazil is reluctant to send citizens offshore to face trial, with its constitution forbidding nationals from being extradited to face a foreign court.
"No Brazilian shall be extradited, except the naturalised in the case of common crimes committed before naturalisation, or of proven involvement in drug trafficking," the constitution reads.
Investigators said in the weeks before her death, Ms Haddad had asked Mr Santoro to move out of her Ryde apartment, in Sydney's northwest, 6km from where her body was found.
Ms Haddad's mother Milu Muller, 70, spoke out last week, saying she received a chilling final phone call from her daughter - in which she could hear Mr Santoro's voice in the background, saying he wanted to come into her apartment.
"Cecilia told him to go away, but he carried on banging and shouting for her to let her in. So she told him that if he didn't go away she would call the police," she told The Daily Telegraph.
"After a while he stopped, then I heard Cecilia telling him, 'Stop walking up and down the corridor, I can hear your footsteps.'"
However, there was no sign of a break-in at her home.