A Honduran beauty queen has been found murdered just days before she was due to compete in the Miss World pageant in London, police say.
The bodies of Maria Jose Alvarado, 19, and her sister Sofia, 23, were found buried near a river in the mountainous region of Santa Barbara in western Honduras.
Alvarado, a student who aspired to become a career diplomat, had been due to take part in the Miss World events that start on Thursday and culminate in the final in London on December 14.
She and her sister had been missing since Thursday, when they were seen leaving a party in a car without a license plate in Santa Barbara, a coffee-growing region where drug gangs are active.
“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, head of the criminal investigation unit, said.
Police arrested Plutarco Ruiz, the boyfriend of the beauty queen’s sister, and another man, and confiscated two pistols and their pick-up truck.