Miss Honduras Was Allegedly Killed by Her Sister's Boyfriend

She was found buried in a riverbank along with her sister, having apparently been shot at least twice in the back.

by Matt Taylor
19 November 2014, 5:30pm

Maria Jose Alvarado is crowned the new Miss Honduras in San Pedro, Sula, Honduras. (AP Photo)

Maria Jose Alvarado is crowned the new Miss Honduras in San Pedro, Sula, Honduras. (AP Photo)

A missing Honduran beauty queen and her sister were found dead on Wednesday, having apparently been shot to death by a jealous asshole. The corpses' identities have yet to be 100 percent verified by forensic evidence, but local police are suggesting this was a savage episode of domestic violence just ahead of the Miss World pageant in London.

María José Alvarado Muñoz, 19, was crowned Miss World Honduras 2014 in April. She and her sister Sofia Trinidad, 23, were last seen on Thursday at the La Aguagua spa in Santa Barbara, Honduras, after attending the birthday party of Sofia's boyfriend, Plutarco Ruiz, 240 miles east in Tegucigalpa. Their bodies were discovered close to the spa, buried in a riverbank.

"Witnesses said my daughter left the spa with three men," the mother, Teresa Munoz, ​told reporters last week. "I tried repeatedly all night to call their cellphones without any response."

General Ramon Sabillon told the Associated P​ress that Ruiz, who was detained last week, eventually confessed to killing the sisters, apparently shooting at Sofia because she was dancing with another guy and then turning on the beauty queen when she attempted to flee. Alvarado was shot at least twice in the back. 

As the AP reported, brutal killings are not exactly rare in Honduras—often called the murder capital of the world—but this one could resonate more than most. Alvarado had been a popular TV personality, appearing on the talk show of former presidential candidate Salvador Nasrallah.

"A lot of girls die this way, but because they're not famous, it doesn't get the attention and the crimes go unpunished," Nasrallah told the wire service. "She was a girl of good principles who fell into a trap, a game with guns, and ended up a victim of a violent system."

Alvarado is not the first Miss World contender to meet a horrific demise in the final stages of the competition; in 2009, Mariana Bridi of Brazil ​contracted a bizarre urinary tract infection that left her dead a month later.

Honduras police have detained an alleged accomplice of Ruiz's, Aris Maldonado, though the any role he might've played in this latest incident is not yet clear. Ruiz apparently had the gall to call Munoz, the victims' mother, the morning after the murders and express uncertainty about where her daughters were, suggesting they had left with strangers. 

But as this horrific crime reminds us, women are ​usually killed by men they know, and sexually charged violence is generally committed by intimates rather than random newcomers.

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