Cecilia Haddad's ex-lover arrested in Brazil

Brazilian police have arrested Mario Marcelo Santoro over the death of his former girlfriend Cecilia Haddad, whose body was found in Sydney’s Lane Cove River.

The Rio de Janeiro police department said Mr Santoro was arrested at a relative’s home in the city’s Botafogo district on Saturday, the Associated Press reports.

He was arrested a day after police searched his home in Rio de Janeiro as well as the homes of his parents and relatives. A warrant for his arrest was issued on Thursday.

Mr Santoro flew back to his native Brazil on the same late April weekend the 38-year-old Brazilian mining executive’s fully-clothed body was found in the Lane Cove River.

Mario Marcelo Santoro, the former lover of murdered woman Cecilia Haddad, has been arrested in Brazil. Source: 7 News
Santoro was arrested by authorities in Brazil overnight. Source: 7 News

Fabio Cardoso, from Rio’s homicide division, said police believe Ms Haddad was killed by asphyxiation.

“In April, by not accepting the break-up, he (Mr Santoro) allegedly killed her by asphyxiation by pressing her neck and dumping her body in the river,” Mr Cardoso told the Seven Network in Brazil.

“We know he had the key to her house because he lived there for a while.”

NSW Police issued a warrant for the 40-year-old’s arrest last month but there are concerns Mr Santoro will never be extradited to Australia to face charges because of Brazilian laws and customs.