8 Jan 2014

Former beauty queen and husband shot

3:32 pm on 8 January 2014

Former Venezuelan beauty queen and actress Monica Spear and her Irish husband have been shot dead in their car on a motorway in Venezuela.

Monica Spear in Bangkok ahead of the Miss Universe pageant in 2005.

Monica Spear in Bangkok ahead of the Miss Universe pageant in 2005. Photo: AFP

Their five-year-old daughter, Maya, was shout in the leg and is in a stable condition in hospital.

Police have launched a investigation into the killing, which happened on the highway leading from Valencia to Puerto Cabello, the BBC reports.

Ms Spear, 29, became Miss Venezuela in 2004, and also acted in soap operas.

Police believe they were the victims of a failed robbery attempt.

Ms Spear and Mr Berry, 39, were travelling at night from the city of Merida to the capital, Caracas, when they hit a sharp object "placed on the road", Venezuela's investigative police chief Jose Gregorio Sierralta, said. At least two of the two tyres were punctured.

The couple and their daughter waited for about 45 minutes for breakdown assistance, El Universal newspaper reported.

The car was about to be towed away when a group of five people approached and ordered them to stop.

The couple and their daughter reportedly ran back and hid inside the car but were shot at by the gang. Ms Spear and Mr Berry died instantly.