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Phoenix police expect murder conviction despite missing body

Posted at 2:58 PM, Jan 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-27 16:58:17-05

Phoenix police say there's enough evidence to win a conviction of the man charged with killing a missing woman after a 12-week search involving hundreds of law enforcement officers failed to turn up the woman's remains.

The Arizona Republic reports police had hoped to find the body of 34-year-old Christine Mustafa before the first-degree murder trial of 38-year-old Robert John Interval begins.

Phoenix police Sgt. Alan Pfohl says the current evidence against the ex-boyfriend should secure a conviction, noting that in some cases the evidence from a body has hurt a prosecution.

Retired judge Roland Steinle says an absent body can help a prosecution by making it harder for the defense to argue the manner of death.

Police say the search that ended earlier this month cost nearly $1.5 million.