Five suspects are being questioned following the murder of former Miss Venezuela, Monica Spear, 29, and her British ex-husband, Thomas Henry Berry, 39, were shot dead by armed robbers Monday. Their daughter Maya, 5, witnessed the murder and was also injured in the failed robbery.
Former Miss Venezuela, Monica Spear, 29, and her British ex-husband, Thomas Henry Berry, 39, were on vacation and driving on a road between between Puerto Cabello and Valencia, in Venezuela, when armed robbers struck.
Officials report the vehicle in which the family were traveling burst a tyre when it hit something in the road. The stretch of road is isolated and badly maintained. Officials believe what they hit however was laid by the armed gang.
The couple locked the car doors and waited for a recovery truck to arrive. Two trucks responded within an hour but the armed gang struck.
According to The Telegraph, "It followed a pattern in Venezuela of late-night assaults carried out by disabling cars with obstacles placed on roadways or by removing sewer covers."
Sky News reports that "authorities said police had arrested five suspects, some under the age of 18."
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro spoke to the media saying on state TV,
"They were inside the car and were riddled (with bullets)" "I ask those who assassinated this young person: what explanation do you have?"
Venezuela has one of the world's highest murder rates in the world, with 79 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2013, according to the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence.
"There will be no tolerance to those who carry out acts like that, killing decent men and women, who have a right to live." the president said.
"Venezuela has one of the world's highest murder rates and violent crime is so rampant that Venezuelans tend to stay home after dark. Spear's death triggered a wave of anger on social media directed at the populist government's poor record on crime," USA Today writes.
The country's opposition leader Henrique Capriles has called on President Maduro to put their political difference aside and work together to "win the war against violence and insecurity."
President Maduro insists reducing violent crime is his number one priority but opponents claim his efforts do not go far enough and that corrupt officials add to the problem.