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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado, and her sister, both found dead

Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado, and her sister, both found dead

Army soldiers today recovered the bodies of murdered Miss Honduras and her sister after police revealed they had arrested her sibling's boyfriend on suspicion of shooting the two women dead in a jealous rage.

The bodies of beauty queen Maria Jose Alvarado, 19, and her sister Sofia, 23, were taken away in body bags by soldiers and forensic experts after they were found buried in a river bank close to the spa where they disappeared six days ago.

General Ramon Sabillon, the National Police director, said Sofia's boyfriend Plutarco Antonio Ruiz had confessed to the killings today and led authorities to the bodies in a mountainous area in Santa Barbara.

The bodies were found near La Aguagua spa, where the sisters had gone last Thursday to celebrate Ruiz's birthday. The trip came a week before Miss Alvarado, the reigning Miss Honduras, was due to fly to London to compete in the Miss World competition.

The sisters, who both grew up in the area, were shot to death and appeared to have been killed the night they disappeared, police said.

Officers said an accomplice, Aris Maldonado, was also being held. The two said they buried the bodies near the river so they would decompose quickly, according to Sabillon.

He said 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 Miss Honduras as she tried to flee.

Teresa Munoz, the sisters' mother, told Televicentro: 'They were not very astute about assessing the people around them. They were just friendly.


'They were taken out by people they hadn't known very long.'

She claimed Ruiz called her the following morning, acting nervous and claiming the young women had left the party in a car with some other people.

Sabillon said authorities were awaiting confirmation from forensic officials that the bodies were of Miss Alvarado and her sister.

The BBC reported Leandro Osorio, the head of the country's Bereau of Criminal Investigation, as saying the two women's bodies had been found in Cablotales Village, near the Aguagua River.

He said: 'We are 100 per cent sure that it's them'.

Forensic experts and Army soldiers from Honduras could today be seen carrying the bodies in body bags out of the wooded area and into emergency vehicles.

The two young women disappeared on Thursday outside Honduras' northern city of Santa Barbara after a birthday party at a local resort, only days before Alvarado was set fly to London to compete in the Miss World competition.

During Plutarco's arrest, police also seized a pistol and two vehicles in the hope they will provide some clues towards what happened.

The case has caused consternation in the notoriously violent central American country, home to the most dangerous city on the planet.

San Pedro Sula, just over 30 miles from Santa Barbara, is the murder capital of the world with more than 1,200 killings a year among its nearly one million inhabitants.

On the night they disappeared, Sofia arrived at a party on Thursday in a champagne-colored private car with unidentified men to pick up her sister at 6pm.

Police say the women were last seen leaving the party in the champagne-colored car.

San Pedro Sula's murder rate of 169 per 100,000 people far surpasses anything in north America or much larger cities like Lagos or Sao Paulo.

Maria Jose described herself on a Miss World website profile as an aspiring diplomat who enjoys playing volleyball and football in her spare time.

She beat 18 contestants to win the Miss Honduras crown in April.

She missed an appointment on Sunday evening to try on the dress she hopes to win Miss World with.

Earlier this week, the women's mother Teresa de Jesus pleaded: 'Open your hearts and understand my pain.

'There is an all-powerful God that sees everything and I hope you set them free.' Miss World is due to kick off tomorrow, with 120 contestants competing for the crown.

The grand finale takes place on December 14 at ExCel London in the heart of the capital's Royal Docks area.

Swiss-born medical student Carina Tyrrell, 24, a qualified ski instructor and competition level gymnast, is representing England.

Scotland is represented by media and marketing student Ellie McKeating, 20, from Glasgow. Ireland's representative is business studies student Jessica Hayes, 20, from Cork.

The two were both shot dead then buried in a riverbank in Santa Barbara

By Corey Charlton and Gerard Couzens and Emma Glanfield for MailOnline

Published: 08:44 GMT, 19 November 2014 | Updated: 01:15 GMT, 20 November 2014

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