November 19, 2014 / 3:33 AM / 3 years ago

Honduran police detain two in search for missing beauty queen

TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - Honduran police said on Tuesday they have detained two men for questioning as they hunt for a beauty queen reported missing just days before she was to leave for London to compete in the Miss World beauty pageant.

Maria Jose Alvarado, 19, and her sister have been missing since Nov. 13, when they were seen leaving a party in a car without a license plate.

Police spokesman Jose Coello said officers were questioning Plutarco Ruiz, the boyfriend of Alvarado’s sister, and Aris Maldonado. The two are believed to have been the last people to see the young women before they disappeared.

“Both are being questioned as part of the investigation into the disappearance of (Alvarado) and her sister. We hope to establish what role they may have played,” Coello said.

Plagued by violent crime, Honduras is the murder capital of the world. A United Nations report released in April showed the Central American nation had a homicide rate of 90.4 people per 100,000. Venezuela, which ranked second on the list, had a murder rate of 53.7 people per 100,000.

Reporting by Gustavo Palencia, Writing by Dave Graham; Editing by Alan Crosby

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