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Miss Venezuela 2004 and ex-husband murdered in front of 5-year-old daughter

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Miss Venezuela 2004, Monica Spear Mootz, who went on to represent Venezuela at Miss Universe 2005 and became one of Venezuela’s most popular soap opera actresses, was shot to death along with her ex-husband on the evening of Jan. 6 in in Puerto Cabello, Venezuela.

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The 29-year-old former beauty queen turned soap star was on vacation with her five-year-old daughter and ex-husband, Henry Thomas Berry, 39, when they became victims of an armed roadside robbery that went horribly wrong after their car broke down, according to NBC News.

Late Monday, they got into a small accident on the Valencia-Puerto Cabello highway that stranded their gray Toyota Corolla. Armed men approached the car and the couple locked themselves inside, police said.

The bandits opened fire, injuring the child and killing the parents, police said.

Although the five-year-old daughter was shot in the leg, the child survived the bandits’ bullets. And although Spear and Berry were reportedly divorced in 2012, they maintained a close and amicable relationship and often vacationed together along with their daughter.

The shooting murders of Monica Spear and her ex are now included in the more than 70 killings that have taken place in Venezuela since the first of the year.

Diego Sanchez, who has known the victims for about six years, said the crime has 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," he said.

"And it’s shocking when it happens to someone you know."

Spear had moved to Miami from Venezuela to escape the violence in her home country, and was planning on returning to the states this week, according to The Huffington Post.

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