Cecilia Haddad, 38, was found in the Lane Cove River, in Sydney’s north shore, on May 1
The former boyfriend of a woman found dead in a river will reportedly return to Australia as he attempts to clear his name.
Cecilia Haddad, 38, was found in the Lane Cove River, on Sydney’s north shore, on May 1, just hours after being reported missing by a group of worried friends.
Her pockets were ‘weighed down with rocks’, according to the kayaker who found her, and her death is being treated by police as a murder.
Brazilian Mario Marcelo Santoro, a person of interest in relation to Ms Haddad’s death, is expected to travel to Australia to prove he did not kill her, the Australian reported.
Mr Santoro’s aunt Jaisa Ferreira dos Santos said his family believed in his innocence.
Mr Santoro is expected to provide documents which prove he changed his flights to return to Brazil before Ms Haddad died.
Ms Haddad’s mother Milu Muller said Mr Santoro had lived off her daughter’s earnings, and that this had contributed to the end of their relationship.
However, Dr Jaisa claimed Ms Haddad was never Mr Santoro’s lover.
She said Mr Santoro was on holiday in Sydney at the time of Ms Haddad’s death and that he had brought forward the date of his flight back to Brazil at the request of his mother.
Ms Haddad (left, pictured with a friend) ended her business and personal relationships with Mr Santoro in the weeks before her body was found floating in a Sydney river, according to friends
Mr Santoro (pictured) is expected to provide documents which prove he changed his flights to return to Brazil before Ms Haddad died
Dr Jaisa said Mr Santoro would return to Australia ‘with several documents that proved his father’s illness, hospitalisations and other things’.
Mr Santoro, who met Ms Haddad many years ago in Rio, arrived in Sydney about 18-months ago, claiming to have a ‘big job’ in healthcare lined up.
But sources close to the investigation told Daily Mail Australia that Mr Santoro had no such job and came to Australia simply to ‘pursue’ Ms Haddad.
‘Essentially he told his friends and family he’d scored a big job with a healthcare company in Australia, but he lied,’ the source claimed.
‘He came here to pursue Cecilia. Ostensibly he came to visit her and never left.
‘He told Cecilia he had something lined up (for work) here too, but his first job in Sydney was driving an Uber from memory.’
It was so unusual for Ms Haddad to drop off the radar that three friends called police to report her missing on Sunday, having not heard from her since 9.30am on Saturday.
‘Three of us that I know of reported her missing within 48 hours, that shows how out of character her disappearance was,’ a friend said last week.
Ms Haddad attended a ‘brief’ barbeque with friends on Friday night before heading home for an ‘early night’.
That was supposed to be followed by a mixture of personal and business events the next day, including a meeting with a disabled client she regularly cared for.
‘She spent the remainder of Friday evening on the phone to friends sharing her plans for the weekend. This is why we were concerned about her – we knew her plans and should have heard from her,’ the friend said.
Mr Santoro, who met Ms Haddad many years ago in Rio, arrived in Sydney about 18-months ago, claiming to have a ‘big job’ in healthcare lined up
‘The BBQ was brief and ended early. I spoke to her on Friday evening, Cecilia was an open book and an open communicator.’
‘Her disability clients loved her because she treated them like real people, never like they were disabled… she had plans to provide assistance to one on the weekend.
‘She had an impact on everyone she met. She was the most sincere person you ever met.’
Ms Haddad spoke to friends between 8am and 9.30am on Saturday over message and phone calls, but was never heard from again.
Police divers searched kilometres from where her body was found on Friday, the same day her father Jose arrived in Sydney to meet with homicide detectives.
Ms Haddad’s ex-husband (left) flew from Perth to Sydney to help police with their investigation and to identify her body
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