Miss Ghana Mourns Miss Honduras

Miss Ghana 2013, Nadia Ntanu, says she is devastated by the macabre murder of her counterpart, Miss Honduras, Maria Jose Alvarado, and the latter’s elder sister, Sofia Trinidad. 19-year-old Maria Jose Alvarado was due to travel to London to compete in the Miss World beauty pageant when she was reported to have suddenly disappeared with her sister Sofia Trinidad Alvarado about six days ago after a party. The two were later found dead near the banks of a river. The murder of the beauty queen has stirred global anger and a rising call for justice, with Miss Ghana 2013, Nadia Ntanu, issuing a statement to express her condolences to the bereaved family. “I am devastated by the death of Miss Honduras 2014, Maria Jose Alvarado, and her sister. I was looking forward to meeting Maria at this year’s Miss World but events of the past few days have made it impossible. May they rest in peace. “My thoughts and prayers are with her family and the Honduran people as we all mourn a beautiful soul,” the statement said. Nadia Ntanu is currently in the United Kingdom for the finals of the Miss World pageant. According to reports from Yahoo news and La Prensa newspaper, police were investigating whether Trinidad’s boyfriend, Plutarco Ruiz, shot Sofia Trinidad in the head after he became jealous when he saw her dancing with another man. He then reportedly shot her beauty-queen sister twice in the back as she tried to flee. Chief detective Leandro Osorio said the bodies of Maria Jose and her 23-year-old sister had been found buried along the banks of the Aguagual River in the town of Arada, in violence-plagued Honduras’ northwest. “We are 100 percent sure that it’s them,” Osorio said. Police arrested Ruiz and his alleged accomplice on Tuesday, seizing a Colt-45 pistol and two vehicles. Security Minister Arturo Corrales said there was “no doubt” that Ruiz was behind the crime and that he had been helped by another man, Aris Maldonado Mejia. “We think that Plutarco led the crime, materially and intellectually,” Corrales said. Police are investigating additional suspects who they believe tried to help cover up the shooting, including by cleaning and repainting a pick-up used in the crime. Organisers of the Miss World pageant, which begins Saturday, sent their condolences and announced a tribute this weekend in honour of the slain sisters. “We are devastated by this terrible loss of two young women, who were so full of life,” Julia Morley, the pageant’s chairwoman, said in a statement. “We will be holding a special service with all of the Miss World contestants on Sunday, where we will be honouring the lives of Maria Jose Alvarado and Sofia Trinidad, and say prayers for them and their family.” Miss World organisers said they also planned to donate money to a children’s home in Honduras in the two women’s memory. Alvarado, who turned heads with her gleaming smile and wavy chestnut hair, was in the last year of her university education at the Northern Polytechnic Institute, where she studied Computer Science. She had participated in beauty contests since she was a young girl. She was also known in Honduras for her work as a model on popular TV game show “X-0.” She and her sister disappeared outside the north-western city of Santa Barbara after attending a birthday party for the accused Ruiz at a local resort. The sisters were last seen leaving the party in a champagne-coloured car. Their mother, Teresa Munoz, says the same vehicle was at her home earlier that day to pick up Maria Jose, who had just arrived from the capital, Tegucigalpa, about 200 kilometres away.