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    Maria Jose Alvarado participates in a beauty contest in San Pedro Sula

    Miss Honduras 2014 Found Murdered and Buried Alongside Sister

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    Maria Jose Alvarado, crowned Miss Honduras 2014 in April, has been found dead and buried along with her sister not far from where they had been feared kidnapped last week, the Associated Press reports.

    MOSCOW, November 19 (Sputnik) — Maria Jose Alvarado and her sister Sofia have been found shot to death and buried near a spa facility in Santa Barbara, where they disappeared last week, the Associated Press reports.

    Honduras National Police Director Ramon Sabillon said that authorities are waiting to confirm the identity of the remains, and noted that Plutarco Ruiz, Sofia’s boyfriend, and Aris Maldonado, an accomplice, have been arrested as suspects.

    Sabillon said that Ruiz confessed to the murders, and led police to an area next to a river in the Santa Barbara area, about 385 kilometers west of the capital of Tegucigalpa.

    The police chief noted that the young women had gone with Ruiz and Maldonado to celebrate his birthday, and that Ruiz allegedly shot Sofia, 23, after an argument for dancing with another man, and killed Maria, 19, as she tried to escape.

    Maria Alvarado, who had been crowned Miss Honduras 2014, had been scheduled to go to London on Sunday to prepare for the Miss World 2014 pageant in December.

    Miss World Chairwoman Julia Morley told Reuters that her organization was “devastated by this terrible loss of two women, who were so full of life.”

    Honduras is an impoverished nation plagued by high levels of violent crime, and is known for having one of the world’s highest murder rates. The UN estimates a murder rate of 90.4 homicides per 100,000 people in 2012. Police corruption and a lucrative drug trade make tackling the problem a difficult prospect for authorities.


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