TEGUCIGALPA – The family of the reigning Miss Honduras has pleaded with police to find their teenage daughter, who was abducted just days before she was set to fly to London for the Miss World contest.
Maria Jose Alvarado, 19, has been missing since Thursday, when she was seen leaving a party with her sister Sofia Trinidad in a car without a license plate, said Honduran TV personality and local beauty contest host Salvador Nasralla on Monday.
“What worries me is that the car didn’t have a license plate … The root problem here is the rule of crime,” he said.
The young women disappeared in the Santa Barbara region in western Honduras that is controlled by drug gangs.
Government security agencies spokesman Jose Coello then is hoping to find them alive. He said four people were now being questioned.
“Days have gone by and we have not heard a thing. The police have to know something,” said a tearful Teresa Munoz, their mother.
“The authorities just have to do their job better,” their big sister Cori Alvarado also told local media.
National police are working on several leads in the hunt for Alvarado, who is also part of a modeling reality show on Honduran television.
Honduras is the murder capital of the world, with a homicide rate above 90 people per 100,000, about double the rate of its closest peers Venezuela, Belize and El Salvador.
Honduras, an impoverished Central American country with eight million people, is statistically the most violent nation in the world.
LOVELY HAZEL M. VALDE
LNU, ABCOM INTERN