Missing Phoenix Woman's Boyfriend Booked on Suspicion of Murder

Robert John Interval and Christine Mustafa.
Robert John Interval and Christine Mustafa. Maricopa County Sheriff's Office/Silent Witness

Phoenix police say Christine Mustafa, a 34-year-old Phoenix woman who has been missing a month, was murdered and they have enough evidence to hold her boyfriend in jail.

Mustafa was last seen in the area of North 20th Place and East Robin Lane on May 10 around 3 p.m. She was last heard from in the early hours the next day.

Police are not saying much about how a missing person case became a murder inquiry, and noted that they have not recovered Mustafa’s body.

But, they say, detectives generated enough other evidence to book 37-year-old Robert John Interval into county jail on suspicion of first-degree murder on Thursday.

They are still asking for the public’s help in what they call an ongoing investigation.

Mustafa was last seen by a coworker leaving work. She spoke to her sister later that night.

The next day, she failed to show up to work. That day, May 11, her family called Phoenix police and asked them to check on her well-being. There was no answer at her door.

Her boyfriend, Interval, now suspected of being her murderer, showed up and told police Mustafa had walked to work earlier that morning, according to police. Detectives began a missing persons case, asked for public help, and offered the customary $1,000 reward.

Five days later, on May 16, detectives from the Phoenix Police Department served a search warrant on Mustafa’s home. After that, said Phoenix Police Department spokesman Sgt. Jonathan Howard: “Evidence continued to point in his direction. It built until there was probable cause.”

Police released no other details.

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Sean Holstege is a freelance reporter with a 30-year career in print news. He was an investigative reporter at The Arizona Republic and the Oakland Tribune. He won a Sigma Delta Chi award for investigative reporting. He’s covered transportation, terrorism, the border, disasters, child welfare, courts, and breaking news.
Contact: Sean Holstege