Ex-Miss Venezuela Shot Dead in Roadside Robbery

The tragedy is the latest high-profile crime in a nation plagued by violence

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Darren Decker / Miss Universe / AP

This May 23, 2005 file photo released by Miss Universe shows Monica Spear, Miss Venezuela 2005, posing for a portrait ahead of the Miss Universe competition in Bangkok, Thailand.

A former Miss Venezuela and her ex-husband were shot dead in a roadside robbery in central Venezuela late Monday, authorities said Tuesday.

Mónica Spear, 29, was a soap opera actress and winner of the 2004 Miss Venezuela contest. She was killed while on vacation with her ex-husband Henry Berry and their 5-year old daughter, Reuters reports.

Reports suggest that armed robbers may have attacked the family after their car broke down on a road between Puerto Cabello and Valencia. Their daughter was also injured in the attack.

Venezuela is one of the world’s most violent nations, according to Reuters. The official annual murder rate is 39 per 100,000 people, but local activists estimate the actual murder rate is nearly twice as high.