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Sister's boyfriend confesses to killing Miss Honduras, family mourns

Reports say a man told police in Honduras that he killed beauty queen Maria Jose Alvarado, 19, and her sister in a jealous rage because the latter, his girlfriend, danced with another man.

entertainment Updated: Nov 20, 2014 22:31 IST
Hindustan Times
Maria Jose Alvarado,beauty queen killed,Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado

Police in Honduras have arrested two men over the killing of beauty queen Maria Jose Alvarado, 19, and her sister, who vanished on a night out last week, according to New York Times. Plutarco Ruiz confessed in custody to shooting and burying them, reported Associated Press.

Ruiz reportedly told police he killed Miss Honduras and her sister, Sofia Trinidad Alvarado, in a jealous rage because the latter, his girlfriend, danced with another man.

After missing for six days, the body of Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado, along with her sister's, was found near a river. She was fatally shot as she tried to escape her sister's jealous boyfriend, police said on Wednesday, hours after the siblings were found dead beside a river.

Maria Jose Alvarado, 19, who had been due to fly to London to compete in the Miss World beauty pageant, disappeared with her sister six days ago after a party, sparking an exhaustive search.

National Police agents escort Plutarco Antonio Ruiz, the boyfriend of Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado's sister, in Santa Barbara, 200 kms north of Tegucigalpa, on November 18, 2014. (AFP Photo)

Alvarado was to have flown to London this week to compete in the Miss World pageant - the high point of her reign as Miss Honduras. Maria Jose Alvarado had been due to take part in the Miss World events that start on Friday and culminate in the final in London on December 14.

Meanwhile, dozens of relatives and friends of the beauty queen gathered for a candlelight vigil at the college she attended, remembering a down-to-earth young woman who aspired to be a diplomat, went out without makeup and worked as a model to help support a humble family.

"She was simple, humble, a total innocent smiling and without malice," said Ludin Reyes, a fellow student at the Technical University of Honduras.The Center for Women's Rights, based in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, issued a statement condemning the sisters' killing and noted 328 women have been slain in this Central American nation so far in 2014.

Also watch: Miss Honduras killed in jealous fit

"The case of Mary Jose and Sofia show clearly the situation of generalized violence against women and the nonexistent response of the Honduran government to prevent, investigate or punish it," the statement said.

According to Irish Times, police said Ruiz confessed to the killing and led investigators to the remote grave site where he and an accomplice buried them in a mountainous area of Santa Barbara, about 240 miles west of the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa.

Police said he told them that at some point during the night of November 13, a heated argument broke out and Ruiz pulled a gun, firing first at his girlfriend and then at Maria Jose Alvarado as she tried to flee, said national police director General Ramon Sabillon. The latter was shot twice in the back.

The alleged accomplice, Aris Maldonado, is in custody and authorities are searching for other suspects.

Alvarado’s body, wrapped in brown plastic, was loaded into the back of a pick-up truck hours before she was to have boarded the flight to London.

Earlier, La Prensa newspaper reported that police were investigating whether Trinidad's boyfriend, Ruiz, shot Sofia Trinidad in the head after he became jealous when he saw her dancing with another man. He then reportedly shot her beauty-queen sister twice in the back as she tried to flee. Chief detective Leandro Osorio said the bodies of Maria Jose and her 23-year-old sister had been found buried along the banks of the Aguagual River in the town of Arada, in violence-plagued Honduras's northwest.

"We are 100% sure that it's them," Osorio had said. Police arrested Ruiz and his alleged accomplice on Tuesday, seizing a Colt-45 pistol and two vehicles.

First Published: Nov 20, 2014 18:43 IST