The reigning Miss Honduras, Maria José Alvarado, and her 23-year-old sister, Sofía Trinidad Alvarado, have been found dead, days after the two women disappeared in Santa Barbara, Honduras, according to the BBC. The siblings vanished on Thursday, shortly before the 19-year-old beauty queen was set to leave for London to compete in the Miss World pageant. They had attended a birthday party for Sofía Trinidad’s boyfriend that night and were never heard from again.
Police say that a suspect has been detained along with weapons and a car.
“We are 100 percent sure that it’s them,” said Leandro Osoria, the head of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation according to the BBC.
Police initially said they did not have evidence to suspect a kidnapping. But witnesses saw the two women leave the party in a champagne-colored car with no license plate, according to their mother, Teresa Muñoz.
They were reported missing on Sunday after they didn’t return home and did not respond to cellphone calls.
People demand the freeing of Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado on November 18, 2014 in Santa Barbara, 200 kms north of Tegucigalpa. Officials arrested a suspect in the disappearance of the reigning Miss Honduras, whose sister’s boyfriend is now also being held as a central figure in the kidnapping. Alvarado, 19, and her sister Sofia Trinidad disappeared on November 13th outside of Santa Barbara after a birthday party at a local resort, only days before she was to compete in the Miss World contest. (Str Str/AFP/Getty Images
People demand the freeing of Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado on November 18, 2014 in Santa Barbara, 200 kms north of Tegucigalpa. (Str/AFP/Getty Images
On Monday, their mother made a tearful plea for their return.
“Days have gone by, and we have not heard a thing. The police have to know something,” she said.
Their bodies were found Wednesday morning in the Cablotales village near the Aguagua River, according to La Tribuna. The suspect and an accomplice were reportedly attempting to hide the bodies and clean the crime scene.
Before the grim discovery, police had already arrested and questioned Sofía Trinidad’s boyfriend Plutarco Ruiz, along with the owner of the spa and two other people connection to the disappearance.
On Wednesday, Interior Minister Arturo Corrales told local media that Ruiz committed the crime, according to Reuters.
The women went missing in a region that is heavily controlled by drug gangs. Honduras has the highest homicide rate in the world, according to the United Nations. In 2012, there were 90.4 homicides for every 100,000 people in the country.