Miss Venezuela 2004, Monica Spear, 29, was found shot to death with her husband Thomas Berry, 49, in her home country on January 6, reports NBC News. Her murder occurred when the car she was traveling in with her family broke down on a highway, they were then attacked by masked bandits who took her and her husband’s lives.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. She Was a Huge Celebrity in Venezuela
She graduated from the University of Florida in 2004, reports The Orlando Sentinel. According to the college, she squeezed in two years of classes into one so that she could compete in Miss Venezuela. Her original major was in chemical engineering which she later changed to theater.
2. She’s Another Victim of the Waves of Violence Impacting Venezuela
She was found dead near Valencia, Venezuela. Her death has prompted a huge outcry in the area. More than 70 people have died in 2014 in the country.
In an interview, Spear stated that she left Venezuela for Miami due to the growing violence in her homeland.
3. Her 5-Year-Old Daughter is in Protective Custody
The couple’s 5-year-old daughter, Maya, was found in the car unharmed. She was taken to hospitaL for precautionary reasons.
4. Their Car Broke Down
Reports indicate that the couple were accosted when their car broke down. The motive for the slaying was most-likely a robbery. The tragic incident occurred on a highway between Puerto Cabello and Valencia in the central part of the country.
5. Her Loss is Being Mourned on Social Media
Estoy sin palabras. Te voy a extrañar amiga @MonicaSpear Y mi Maya bella hermosa te amo. No estas sola!!
— Jencarlos – Oficial (@jencarlosmusic) January 7, 2014
She posted this beautiful video on Instagram just hours before being murdered: