Honduras beauty queen Maria Jose Alvarado, 19, and her sister Sofia Trinidad, 23, have been found dead, officials said Wednesday.
The bodies of the victims were found buried near a river in the region of Santa Barbara, about 240 miles (400 kilometers) from Tegucigalpa, said Leandro Osorio, head of the criminal investigation unit of the Honduran National Police.
“I can confirm that the Alvarado sisters were found … We also have the murder weapon and the vehicle in which they were transported to the site where they were buried,” Osorio told local television.
Osorio said the two women apparently were shot and killed Thursday night not long after their abduction. He added that the beauty queen had been shot from behind and her sister shot from the front.
The newspaper “La Prensa” identified the suspects as Plutarco Antonio Ruiz, Sofia’s boyfriend, and Aris Valentin Maldonado. The sisters had last been seen leaving a party at a spa in a car without a license plate.
“They were not very astute about assessing the people around them. They were just friendly,” the sisters’ mother Teresa Muñoz told Televicentro. “They were taken out by people they hadn’t known very long.”
The AP also reported that Ruiz allegedly shot his girlfriend, Sofia, because she was dancing with another man. After a fierce argument, he pulled out a pistol and fired at Sofia first, then at Miss Honduras as she tried to flee. Muñoz said Ruiz called her the following morning, acting nervous and claiming the young women had left the party in a car with some other people.
Alvarado was to be among the contestants from more than 120 countries who arrived in London this week for early rounds of the Miss World pageant. The 19-year-old student from Santa Barbara, Honduras, beat 18 contestants to win the Miss World Honduras crown in April.
According to a UN report, Honduras has the world’s highest homicide rate, with 90.4 people murdered per 100,000 of the population.
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