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Venezuela arrests seven over beauty queen's fatal highway shooting

Published on Jan 9, 2014 11:26 AM
People mourning the death of former beauty queen Monica Spear at a protest in Caracas on Jan 8, 2014. Gunmen killed Ms Spear and her partner Thomas Henry Berry in front of their young daughter in an attack that shocked the crime-plagued nation. PHOTO: AFP

CARACAS (AFP) - The Venezuelan police have arrested seven people, including a woman and two teenagers, over the brutal double murder of a beauty queen turned soap star and her British-born partner, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The fatal shooting of former Miss Venezuela Monica Spear, an actress who lived and worked in the United States, during a vacation to her home country caused shock and revulsion, and triggered a government crisis meeting.

Ms Spear, 29, and Mr Thomas Henry Berry, 39, were shot dead after their car broke down on a highway in north-western Venezuela late Monday. Their five-year-old daughter was wounded in what appears to have been an armed robbery.

The family had locked themselves in the car in a frantic attempt to survive, but the armed men approached and opened fire multiple times. Ms Spear was killed with a single shot.

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