Ariz. Police Search Landfill for Body of Missing Mother Whose Boyfriend is Charged with Murder

Phoenix authorities are currently searching a landfill for the body of a woman who went missing in May and whose boyfriend has been charged with murder in her death, PEOPLE confirms.

Christine Mustafa, 34, was last seen leaving her job at Walgreens on May 10, a spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department tells PEOPLE. The following day, she didn’t show up for her scheduled work shift. When a period elapsed in which she didn’t contact her family, police were asked to conduct a welfare check and later filed a missing persons report, the spokesperson says.

In June, Mustafa’s boyfriend, Robert Interval Jr., was arrested and charged with first degree murder. Mustafa’s body has not yet been found, the spokesperson says.

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This is the second week police have searched the landfill, according to ABC15. It could take up to nine weeks to search the area, the spokesperson says.

Interval, who is the father of Mustafa’s 8-month-old daughter, was named a person of interest in her disappearance less than two weeks after she went missing, according to court documents obtained by ABC15. (Phoenix police declined to comment on the case; court documents have since been sealed.)

Days before she disappeared, Mustafa allegedly told her sisters she was afraid of Interval, the documents state. She said she planned to leave him and filing an order of protection against him, according to the documents.

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Interval had allegedly accused Mustafa of cheating and had called her at work repeatedly, according to the documents.

During their initial welfare check on May 11, police encountered Interval, who said Mustafa had walked to work after the couple had an argument that morning, the documents state.

He allegedly told police he had just cleaned the house because the couple’s dog had just had an accident, the documents state. He also allegedly said their daughter had bedbugs and a cleaning solution had been recently used on the bed and linens to remove them.

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Interval has pleaded not guilty to charges and is behind bars being held on a $ 1,000,000 cash bond, according to The Arizona Republic. It is unclear whether Interval has an attorney.

“The family is tremendously relieved to know that Robert Interval is in custody and has been charged with the murder of Christine,” a spokeswoman for the family told the Republic. “They’ve been waiting for this since the first day she went missing.”


PEOPLE.com

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