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  1. ITV Report

Teenage Honduran beauty queen found murdered days before Miss World competition

Credit: Reuters

A beauty queen has been found murdered with her sister just days before she was due to compete in the Miss World pageant in London, Honduras police have announced.

Maria Jose Alverado, 19, and her sister were found buried near a river in the mountainous Santa Barbara region, around 110 miles from the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, the senior police officer investigating the murder said.

I can confirm that the Alvarado sisters were found ..We also have the murder weapon and the vehicle in which they were transported to the site where they were buried."

– Leandro Osorio
Honduran police say that the boyfriend of Alverado's sister is the prime suspect, and has been arrested. Credit: Reuters

Interior Minister Arturo Corrales told Honduran media that Plutarco Ruiz, the boyfriend of the beauty queen's sister, was responsible for the crime. Police arrested Ruiz and another man on Tuesday, confiscating two pistols.

The teenager and her sister had been missing since 13th November, when they were last seen leaving a party in a mysterious car.

Alverado was crowned Miss Honduras World in April 2014, beating 18 others to the coveted title. She was a student who had plans on forging a career as a diplomat, Reuters report.

Chairman of the Miss World competition Julia Morley issued this statement:

We are devastated by this terrible loss of two young women, who were so full of life. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of María José Alvarado & Sofía Trinidad at this time of grief.

We are receiving messages of condolences and support from our Miss World family across the world, who all share our sadness at such a tragedy.

We will be holding a special service with all of the Miss World contestants on Sunday, where we will be honoring the lives of María José Alvarado and Sofía Trinidad, and say prayers for them and their family. "

– Julia Morley

Honduras has a reputation as the world's most violent country with a murder rate above 90 people 100,000 - roughly double that of Venezuela, El Salvador and Belize.

A recent expansion of drug cartels from Mexico has also seen an increase in violence in the South American nation, and the country is now a major trafficking port for cocaine into the United States and Europe.