Man sentenced to 25 years in prison for murder of Christine Mustafa

Jun 7, 2019, 12:30 PM
Robert Interval and Christine Mustafa...
Robert Interval and Christine Mustafa

PHOENIX — The man who was convicted of murdering a Phoenix woman who has been missing for nearly two years was sentenced Friday to 25 years in prison.

Robert John Interval was found guilty in April of second-degree murder in the death of Christine Mustafa, his 34-year-old girlfriend, although her body was never found.

He had been acquitted by a Maricopa Superior Court jury of a first-degree murder charge.

“This defendant’s actions have left the victim’s daughters without a mother and a family without a beloved sister and daughter, and our community permanently deprived of her talents and vitality,” Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said in a press release.

“Today’s sentencing holds this defendant fully accountable for his actions.”

A search for Mustafa began after she failed to show up for work on May 11, 2017. Police conducted a welfare check at her home and later, her family filed a missing person report.

Officers found her car, purse and cellphone at her home near Deer Valley and Cave Creek roads. Investigators also found pillowcases and bedsheets containing a small amount of “possible blood-stained material” during a search of the house.

The search moved to a landfill in the fall. Authorities searched the facility for 12 weeks before stopping in December. Phoenix police said there still was enough evidence to win a conviction.

During the trial, the prosecution said the 39-year-old Interval made incriminating statements in texts, bought mattress covers the day Mustafa went missing and was spotted near a trash transfer facility later that day.

Relatives told police that Mustafafa was afraid of Interval and had planned to leave him.

Court documents said she had told her sisters was going to file an order of protection against Interval.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Man sentenced to 25 years in prison for murder of Christine Mustafa