• ‘Miss Honduras’ murder suspects back in court

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    TEGUCIGALPA: The suspected killer of Honduras’ Miss World contestant and her sister appeared in court Wednesday, along with three alleged accomplices.

    A judge in San Pedro Sula issued a formal processing order for Plutarco Antonio Ruiz who allegedly killed 19-year-old Miss World contestant Maria Jose Alvarado and her sister 24-year-old Sophia Trinidad, a spokesman for the prosecutor told AFP.

    The men appeared in court on Wednesday in the town of Santa Barbara, 200 kilometers north of the capital city Tegucigalpa, but were transferred to a court in San Pedro Sula, Honduras’ second largest city, for security reasons.

    The sisters’ bodies were found buried along the banks of a river last Wednesday, the same day Maria Jose was set to fly to compete in the Miss World pageant in London. Sophia Trinidad was Ruiz’s girlfriend.

    Accused of complicity in the killings are three people who allegedly helped cover up the crime: Ruiz’s friend Aris Maldonado Mejia; resort owner Ventura Diaz; and Diaz’s wife Elizabeth Alvarado.

    According to police, Ruiz shot the two women to death after attending a birthday party at a resort and the three accomplices helped bury the bodies at the edge of a river.

    Ruiz and the accused accomplices declined to testify at their first court appearance.

    AFP

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