Monica Spear: Teenagers among suspects arrested for murder of former Miss Venezuela and British ex-husband

Monica Spear and Thomas Henry Berry were killed in front of their five-year-old daughter who was injured in the attack

Two teenagers are among the suspects arrested for the murder of former Miss Venezuela Monica Spear and her British ex-husband.

Prosecutors announced last night that seven people had been arrested, including a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old, and belongings had been sized.

Monica Spear, 29, and 39-year-old British citizen Thomas Henry Berry, the owner of a travel agency, were shot dead on a roadside near Venezuela's main port of Puerto Cabello on Monday.

They had been on holiday together with their five-year-old daughter Maya, who was also wounded by a bullet in the attack.

The tragedy has caused outrage in Venezuela, where more than nine in 10 murders go unsolved, according to the Venezuelan Violence Observatory.

Director Roberto Briceno said the killings “bring into relief a common reality of daily life in Venezuela”.

His group counted nearly 45,000 people killed last year - 79 for every 100,000 Venezuelans – although government figures are lower.

Hundreds of actors and writers took to the streets of the capital Caracas yesterday to demand the government protect its citizens.

President Nicolas Maduro hastily gathered Venezuela state governors and mayors to discuss the violence and pledged to unite with political opponents to fight crime.

Jose Gregorio Sierralta, director of the country's investigative police, told reporters the family’s car had hit “a sharp object that had been placed on the highway".

He said the suspected robbery occurred after the car had been lifted onto a tow truck.

The family locked themselves in their car when they saw assailants approaching, but they shot into the vehicle.

The killings followed a pattern of late-night robberies carried out by disabling cars with obstacles placed on the roads.

Ms Spear's parents have arrived in Caracas from their home in Orlando, Florida, while Mr Berry's parents had been with Maya at a private clinic in Caracas.

Ms Spear was crowned Miss Venezuela in 2004 and competed in the Miss Universe pageant the following year.

She had acted in numerous soap operas, most recently in Pasion Prohibida for the US-based Telemundo network.

Additional reporting by Associated Press

 

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
Sport
Sean Abbott
cricketSean Abbott is named Australia's young cricketer of the year
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Urgent - Cheshire - £25p/h

£20 - £25 per hour: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a hu...

Sauce Recruitment: Partnership Sales Executive - TV

competitive + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: An award-winning global multi-media...

Sauce Recruitment: Account Director

£26017.21 - £32521.19 per annum + OTE $90,000: Sauce Recruitment: My client is...

Recruitment Genius: Linux Systems Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of UK Magento hosting so...

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea