SANTA BARBARA, Honduras (AFP) – A shaken Honduras buried its Miss World contestant and her sister Thursday, after the latter’s boyfriend shot them in a jealous rage, according to police and media reports.
Mourners sobbed as coffins holding the remains of Miss Honduras, 19-year-old Maria Jose Alvarado, and her sister Sofia Trinidad Alvarado, 23, were lowered into the ground at a cemetery in the northwestern town of Santa Barbara.
The violence-plagued Central American nation has been in shock since police found the sisters’ bodies buried along the banks of the Aguagual River on Wednesday and accused Sofia’s boyfriend Plutarco Ruiz of killing them the night they went missing a week ago.
Maria Jose, who won the Miss Honduras crown in April, had been due to fly to London on Wednesday to compete in the Miss World pageant.
After forensic analysts in Tegucigalpa examined the sisters’ bodies overnight, authorities returned them for a morning funeral service in Santa Barbara, some 200 kilometres from the capital.
Mourners held a dawn vigil for the women Thursday under a white tent outside the family’s house.
Under a drizzling rain, a funeral procession then accompanied the caskets to the San Juan Bautista cemetery, where the sisters were buried alongside their father, Oscar.
Their mother, Teresa Munoz, bent over Maria Jose’s coffin and broke down in tears.
“It’s unspeakable what they did to my granddaughters,” said Sotera Munoz, the sisters’ 86-year-old grandmother.
“That young man had a sick mind,” she told AFP, referring to Ruiz.
According to Honduran media reports, police believe Ruiz, who held a birthday party last Thursday at a resort outside Santa Barbara, flew into a fit of rage when he saw Sofia dancing with another man.
He allegedly shot her in the head and then her beauty queen sister twice in the back.
Police arrested Ruiz and an alleged accomplice, Aris Maldonado, on Tuesday, while the owner of the resort Ventura Diaz and his wife Elizabeth Alvarado were arrested the next day.
All four were sent to jail Thursday.