The heartbroken parents of alleged murder victim Cecilia Haddad have given their first Australian interview, pleading for women who fear for their lives to seek help.
Along with prosecutors in Brazil, they allege that Cecilia had been trying to hide from Mario Santoro, the man now accused of killing her.
Believing in justice gives Jose and Andrea Haddad strength.
“The only thing I expect is [that] who did this is going to pay for this,” a tearful Mr Haddad told 7 News.
In court on Thursday, Mr Haddad had to hear details of how Santoro allegedly killed his daughter and dumped her in Sydney’s Lane Cover River.
They don’t want Cecilia’s murder to be all she’s remembered for, describing their daughter as “always happy.”
“Happy with her life, proud of herself because she was a wonderful professional and this is very important to remember,” Ms Haddad said.
Jose and Andrea say they find comfort in knowing that police on opposite sides of the world are determined to find justice.
“I’d like to thank all the people from Australian police,” Jose said.
Cecilia met Mario more than 15 years ago in Rio de Janeiro.
They went to the same university and their families were friends, but the Haddad family want to send a powerful message to anyone living in fear of someone they think they know.
“Go to the police,” Andrea said.
“Please, don’t wait.”