Ex-Venezuelan beauty queen and husband shot dead

Tuesday 07 January 2014 21.57
Monica Spear was named Miss Venezuela in 2004
Monica Spear was named Miss Venezuela in 2004

A former Venezuelan beauty queen and her husband have been found shot dead.

The bodies of Thomas Henry Berry and Monica Spear were found in a car on a highway linking the cities of Puerto Cabello and Valencia, local media reported.

It had been reported earlier that Mr Berry may have been Irish, but the Department of Foreign Affairs has said he was travelling on a British passport.

Ms Spear's five-year-old daughter was found alive in the car last night and was in stable condition after being treated at a medical centre, Venezuelan authorities said.

Local press reports, citing police sources, said the couple were shot dead, apparently by robbers, after their car broke down.

"The experts did a technical survey of the site and the vehicle in which the couple was travelling was impounded for the corresponding analysis," an official statement said.

Ms Spear was named Miss Venezuela in 2004.

Venezuela has one of the world's highest murder rates, with 79 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2013, according to the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence, a local non profit.