On Tuesday, news reports confirmed that former Miss Venezuela winner Monica Spear was shot and killed while on vacation in her hometown due to a violent car robbery that also took Spear’s 49-year-old husband Thomas Henry Berry‘s life.
According to reports, the popular 29-year-old pageant queen and her family was traveling on Venezuela’s Puerto Cabello-Valencia highway heading towards the city of Valencia when their car — a 2002 Toyota Corolla — broke down late Monday evening (Jan.6).
They were suddenly held at gunpoint, with unknown assailants attempting to rob them. Spear and Berry were both shot and died instantly, while their five year-old daughter was injured with a bullet-wound to the leg. She was treated at a hospital and remains in stable condition.
Mstarz reports, Spear, who lives in Miami and was expected to return from sometime this week, was crowned Miss Venezuela in 2004. She also participated in Thailand’s Miss Universe in 2005 and starred in several Venezuelan soap opera gigs — breaking into the U.S. market in Telemundo’s 2011 “Flor Salvaje.” Her last lead role (starring alongside Jencarlose Canela) was in the 2013 Spanish film, “Pasión Prohibida.”
The Guardian also reports that since last year “Venezuela’s official murder rate was 39 per 100,000 inhabitants. But local non-government organization’s put the figure at nearly twice that for a total of 24,000 deaths.” This was the main reason for Spear to relocate to the U.S.