Former Miss Venezuela slain in robbery
By The Associated Press
Published: Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, 9:06 p.m.
CARACAS — A former Miss Venezuela and her ex-husband were shot and killed, and their 5-year-old daughter wounded when they resisted robbers by locking themselves inside their car when tire punctures disabled it on an isolated stretch of highway, police said on Tuesday.
The slaying of Monica Spear, 29, a popular soap-opera actress, and Thomas Henry Berry, a 39-year-old British citizen, was the latest high-profile crime in a country where killings are common in armed robberies and where rampant kidnapping has ensnared even foreign ambassadors and professional baseball players.
The killings followed a pattern in Venezuela of late-night assaults carried out by disabling cars with obstacles placed on roadways or by removing sewer covers.
Spear and Berry were slain at about 10:30 p.m. between Puerto Cabello, the country's main port, and the provincial capital of Valencia.
They were returning from vacation to Caracas on a badly maintained stretch of highway that is lightly traveled at that hour.
Their four-door sedan hit “a sharp object that had been placed on the highway” which punctured at least two of its tires, said the director of the country's investigative police, Jose Gregorio Sierralta.
Two tow trucks arrived almost immediately afterward, said Sierralta, and the attack occurred when the car had been lifted onto one of the trucks.
Seeing the assailants coming, the travelers locked themselves inside, and the assailants fired at least six shots, he said.
Police in Puerto Cabello arrested five suspects, some younger than 18, Sierralta added.
Their daughter, Maya, was in stable condition and was with relatives in Caracas, Sierralta said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Western Pennsylvania engineer aboard missing Malaysia Airlines flight
- Ukrainian leader will meet Obama in U.S.
- Ukrainian leader will meet Obama in U.S.
- Syrian rebels reportedly release nuns held since December
- Israel: Iranian shipment contained 40 rockets
- Libya says its forces near oil tanker
- ‘Dead’ Mexican drug kingpin Moreno likely killed in shootout, official says
- Toronto mayor’s staff in dark on daylight saving
- Suicide car bomb, attacks kill at least 42 in Iraq
- Vietnam says it may have found missing jet’s door
- Guardsmen in Caracas block food-shortage protest march