PHOENIX (FOX 10) - Tuesday saw another day of testimony from members of Christine Mustafa's family, in day two of Robert Interval 's murder trial.
Interval is accused of killing Mustafa, a Valley mother who went missing nearly two years ago. Mustafa has not been seen since May 10, 2017, when she left her work at Walgreens. When she didn't show up for her shift the following day, she was reported missing. Her body has not been found despite an extensive search, and prosecutors say there is plenty of evidence that proves Interval, Mustafa's ex-boyfriend, killed her.
In opening statements, the defense attorney said without a body, they don't know what happened. Perhaps Mustafa was killed by someone else, and perhaps she is actually alive, and wanted to make a fresh start. Meanwhile, Mustafa's family testified on Tuesday that she was a responsible, loving mother who cared deeply for her children.
Mustafa's 75-year-old mother used an interpreter to testify in Arabic. Mustafa's 17-year-old daughter, Dania Abuhaikal, testified after her grandmother. Abuhaikal told jurors she had heard Interval and Mustafa fighting more than once.
"Did you ever hear the defendant accuse your mom of cheating?" asked prosecutor Marisha Gilla.
"Yes," Abuhaikal replied.
"Can you tell me about that?" Gilla asked.
"On walks, he would tell me that my mom was cheating on him," Abuhaikal replied.
Also dramatic was the appearance of Mustafa's twin sister, Maryanne. She testified that she saw less of her sister once Interval came into her life in 2012. Maryanne also told jurors she and Christine were born on Christmas Day, and that they were always close.
"She was very compassionate. Very considerate," said Maryanne. "Kind individual. She's the best friend everybody yearns to have, and almost never finds."
The trial is expected to be lengthy, lasting more than a few weeks.