Miss Honduras and Sister Found Dead, Bodies Discovered in River
By Jackie Willis
Miss Honduras 2014, Maria Jose Alvarado, and her sister Sofia disappeared six days ago, and police believe they have found their bodies.
Sofia's boyfriend Plutarco Ruiz confessed to killing the siblings, Gen. Ramon Sabillon tells the Associated Press, and even led the Honduras National Police to bodies buried in a river bank around the mountainous terrain of Santa Barbara, 240 miles west of Tegucigalpa.
Though they are waiting for forensics to confirm the bodies are in fact Sofia, 23, and Maria Jose, 19, Sabillon says that the women discovered appear to have been shot to death.
Ruiz claims he killed the women after he saw his girlfriend dancing with another man. He told police that after an intense argument, he pulled out his pistol and fired it at Sofia first and then Maria Jose when she tried to flee the scene. Sabillion believes the beauty queen was shot three times in the back.
Authorities also have another alleged accomplice, Aris Maldonado, in custody. Ruiz said Maldonado helped him bury the bodies near the river in hopes that they would quickly decompose.
"They were not very astute about assessing the people around them. They were just friendly," the girls' mother, Teresa Munoz, told Televicentro (via AP). "They were taken out by people they hadn't known very long."
Maria Jose was crowned Miss Honduras in April and was to compete for the Miss World crown in London next month. She was to fly out to England this week. Given the tragedy, Honduras has decided to opt out of the pageant.
Miss World Chairman Julia Morley released a statement on behalf of the organization following the news. "We are devastated by this terrible loss of two young women, who were so full of life. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Maria Jose Alvarado and Sofia Trinidad at this time of grief," the statement reads. "We will be holding a special service with all of the Miss World contestants on Sunday, where we will be honoring the lives of Maria Jose Alvarado and Sofia Trinidad, and say prayers for them and their family."
According to AP, an April report from the UN cites Honduras as having the highest homicide rate (90.4 people murdered per 100,000) in the world.