Former Miss Venezuela Monica Spear was shot dead, alongside her ex-husband Thomas Henry Berry during an attempted car robbery, police said Tuesday.
The 29-year-old former model and Telenovela star was travelling towards Valencia City in a grey 2002 Toyota Corolla with her ex-husband and daughter when their car broke down. The car was then lifted into a tow truck. Upon seeing the bandits coming, the couple and their 5-year-old daughter ran into the Corolla and locked themselves in.
Their refusal to open the car window was met with gunfire. Spear and Berry died but their daughter survived with an injury to her leg and was rushed to hospital for treatment.
The case of the slain popular soap-opera actress and her former husband now joins other cases of high profile crimes in Venezuela, where armed robbery, killings as well as kidnappings have become rampant. Even professional athletes and foreign ambassadors have been victims. Spear had earlier confessed to HuffPost Voices that she left her native Venezuela due to insecurity.
The director of the country’s investigative police Jose Gregorio Sierralta said that the police have arrested four suspects in connection with the murder. Some of the suspects are under 18 years of age.
Luis Carl, a friend of Thomas Berry, said the family had spent the holidays in the Merida mountains of western Venezuela then travelled to the plains. He described the slain couple as people who had a good relationship despite the fact that they were not together at the time. Carl said the couple loved the country a lot.
Carl hoped that their deaths may spur the country’s fight against crime which increased dramatically during the rule of the late Hugo Chavez, who died last year due to cancer. The country has one of the highest crimes rates in the world and is plagued by other problems such as food shortages.
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