Monica Spears, the popular Telemundo actress and former Miss Venezuela, was shot and killed along with her husband near Valencia on Monday during a roadside robbery.
Spears, her husband Thomas Henry Berry, and their five-year old daughter were waiting for a tow truck after their car broke down when they were ambushed by a thief or thieves who apparently wanted their car. Spears and Berry were killed instantly; their daughter was wounded in the gunfire but is recovering and is expected to be okay.
Spears won the title of Miss Venezuela in 2004 and placed fourth in the Miss Universe pageant the following year. She later went into acting and appeared in the successful novelas "My cousin Ciela", "Calle Luna, Calle Sol", "The Perfect Woman", "Wild Flower" and "Forbidden Passion".
Venezuela is one of the most violent countries in the world with an estimated 39 murders per 100,000 people, according to Telemundo51. Officials have called the state of crime in the area "critical" after seeing more than 24,000 homicides in 2013 alone. Spears confessed recently that she moved from Venezuela to Miami out of fear for her safety and the safety of her family; they were on vacation for the holidays and were expected to return to the States this week. Spear posted several photos and videos to Instagram just before her death.
Image via Instagram