Nov 19, 2014 9:46 AM

Bodies believed to be Miss Honduras, sister found

The Associated Press

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) Two bodies believed to belong to Miss Honduras 2014 and her sister have been found buried near the spa where they disappeared six days ago, the Honduras National Police director said Wednesday.

Authorities are awaiting confirmation from forensic officials that the bodies are Maria Jose Alvarado, 19, and her sister, Sofia, 23, said Gen. Ramon Sabillon.

Sabillon said Sofia's boyfriend, Plutarco Ruiz, confessed and led authorities to the bodies buried in river bank in a mountainous in Santa Barbara, about 240 miles (400 kilometers) west of Tegucigalpa.

They were found near La Aguagua spa, where they had gone Thursday to celebrate Ruiz's birthday.

Both women, who grew up in the area, were shot to death and appeared to have been killed the night they disappeared, Sabillon said.

An accomplice, Aris Maldonado, was also being held. The two said they buried the bodies near the river so they would decompose quickly, according to Sabillon.

He said Ruiz allegedly shot his girlfriend, Sofia, because she was dancing with another man. After a fierce argument, he pulled out a pistol and fired at Sofia first, then Miss Honduras as she tried to flee.

Alvarado was crowned Miss Honduras in April and was expected to compete in the Miss World Pageant in London next month. She was supposed to have left for London this week. A pageant representative said Honduras would not compete in the contest this year, given the tragedy.

Honduras, overrun with streets gangs and drug-trafficking, has the highest murder rate in the world for a country not in war, with an estimated 90 to 95 killings per 100,000 people. It is one of Latin America's poorest countries and earlier this year was the main source of a surge in unaccompanied minors migrating to the United States, many to escape the violence.


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