Former Miss Venezuela and Spanish speaking soap opera actress Monica Spear Mootz, 29, was shot dead in a roadside robbery on Tuesday. Also killed in the robbery was her Irish ex-husband Henry Thomas Berry, 29. Miraculously, their five-year old daughter, who suffered a gunshot wound to the leg, is in stable condition in a Venezuelan hospital.
Although the couple was divorced, they were close friends, and often went on vacations together with their daughter. Spear Mootz and Mr. Berry both lived in Florida, and they were planning to return home next week.
Monica Spear Mootz was the 2004 Miss Venezuela winner and a contestant in the 2005 Miss Universe competition in Thailand. She also had been a model and her acting career was beginning to take off on telenovela shows like "Flor Salvaje" and "Pasión Prohibida".
Roadside robberies, deaths, and kidnappings are not uncommon along the highways of Venezuela. As the family was driving along the countryside outside of Valencia, their grey 2002 Corolla Toyota went off the road. An unknown number of attackers then ambushed the family, leaving the couple dead and their daughter injured. It has not been reported how much was taken from the vehicle.
"Pasion Prohibida" co-star Jencarlos Canela expressed his sorrow via Twitter on Tuesday.
Estoy sin palabras. Te voy a extrañar amiga @MonicaSpear Y mi Maya bella hermosa te amo. No estas sola!!(Translation: "I'm speechless. I will miss my friend @ MonicaSpear And I love you beautiful Maya. You're not alone!")
— Jencarlos - Oficial (@jencarlosmusic) January 7, 2014
Diego Sanchez, who was a friend of the couple, said the crime made him think about leaving Venezuela:
"To think there are people who can shoot a mother and father in front of their daughter is very sad and unbelievable, And it's shocking when it happens to someone you know."Some of the former Miss Venezuela's last Instagram posts, taken on her Venezuelan vacation, leaves her family, fans, and friends with a chilling goodbye.
The Inquisitr sends our heartfelt condolences to the families of Monica Spear Mootz and Henry Thomas Berry. Our thoughts and prayers are with their daughter.