The parents of Brazilian mining executive Cecilia Haddad, whose lifeless body was found floating in Sydney’s Lane Cove River, have spoken out in their first Australian interview.
Mario Marcelo Santero, 40, faced a Brazilian this week accused of killing Haddad, 38, his former girlfriend, in Sydney in late April before fleeing back home to Brazil.
Speaking to Channel 7, Ms Haddad’s father Jose and stepmother Andrea spoke of their devastation at their daughter’s death.
The parents of Brazilian mining executive Cecilia Haddad, whose lifeless body was found floating in Sydney’s Lane Cove River, have spoken out in their first Australian interview (pictured father Jose Haddad)
Jose Haddad said: ‘The only thing I feel is I miss her.
Refusing to say Santoro’s name in the interview, Mr Haddad added tearfully that ‘the big problem is Cecilia – she’s not here anymore.’
Ms Haddad’s father also thanked members of the Australian police who have worked on the investigation.
His words of gratitude come despite criticism of NSW Police by Brazlian homicide chief Fabio Cardoso – who accused the Australian authorities of failing to hand over technical evidence that could be used to convict Santoro at this week’s pre-trial hearing.
Jose Haddad said ‘The only thing I feel is I miss her’ while stepmother Andrea (pictured) remembered Ms Haddad’s pride in her career
Ms Haddad’s stepmother meanwhile spoke fondly of the 38-year-old’s pride in her career.
She said: ‘She was happy and proud of herself because she was a wonderful professional – this is very important to remember.’
It was heard in court Ms Haddad had resorted to only communicating with Santoro over email after blocking the number.
A witness told the court in Rio de Janeiro Ms Haddad was writing the emails just in English so Australian police could read the exchanges if something happened to her, news.com.au reported.
Cecilia Haddad (pictured) was only communicating with her ex-boyfriend Mario Marcelo Santoro by email and in English after blocking his phone number, a witness told a court
Mario Marcelo Santoro (pictured) is accused of murdering Ms Haddad’s, whose lifeless body was found floating in a Sydney river
Ms Haddad’s fully-clothed body was discovered floating in the Lane Cove River on April 29, with Santoro flying back to his native Brazil on the same weekend her body was found.
Santoro was arrested in Brazil on July 7, a day after police searched his home in Rio de Janeiro as well as the homes of his parents and relatives, after a warrant for his arrest was issued.
It has been alleged Santoro, 40, killed Ms Haddad as he ‘could not accept the end of their relationship’.
A witness told the court Santoro had become ‘obsessive’ and ‘sexist’ after his relationship with Ms Hadded ended.
The witness also told the court Santoro had read Ms Haddad’s personal messages, followed her and refused to move out of her home.
Wednesday’s court hearing was a pre-trial hearing at which four of the seven prosecution witnesses gave evidence.
It has been alleged Santoro (right), 40, killed Ms Haddad (left) as he ‘could not accept the end of their relationship’
Ms Haddad (pictured) was allegedly murdered by Santoro, who was her former boyfriend
Judge Daniel Werneck Cotta will decide if Santoro will face a full trial on qualified homicide charges.
The court heard Santoro confessed to strangling Ms Haddad to death in an informal police interview.
The head of the Rio homicide squad, Dr Fabio Cardoso, gave testimony before the court that Santoro ‘never denied being the author of the crime’ throughout police interviews.
Dr Cardoso also gave testimony Santoro confessed to strangling Ms Haddad in an informal conversation after the pair had an argument in their apartment.
The detective said the defendant had told his colleague the confession was not formal testimony.
The court also heard Santoro used Ms Haddad’s finger to unlock her phone and send text messages to her mother and friends.
In court, one of Santoro’s defence lawyers, Mauricio Eduardo Mayr, dismissed the alleged confession as ‘hearsay’.
Defence lawyers also told the court there was not enough evidence to support the allegations.
Ms Haddad’s lifeless body was found floating in Sydney’s Lane Cover River (the river is pictured)