Ex-Miss Venezuela, ‘Novela’ Actress Monica Spear Mootz Shot Dead in Robbery Attempt
Monica Spear Mootz, actress, model and former Miss Venezuela, was shot dead, along with her husband, during a robbery attempt Monday in the Venezuelan state of Carabobo.
Investigators say Spear, 29, was traveling on the Puerto Cabello-Valencio highway with her husband, Thomas Henry Berry, 39, and her 5-year-old daughter when their vehicle had mechanical failure. Authorities say unknown assailants then attempted to rob them and open fired at the locked vehicle when they resisted.
Berry was shot in the chest and later died while Spear’s daughter was wounded in the leg. The daughter was transported to a local hospital and is in stable condition.
The three resided in Miami but were in Venezuela on vacation.
Spear built a successful career abroad, recognized in several leading roles in soap operas with Telemundo.
The model was born in 1984 in the city of Maracaibo, the capital of the northwestern Venezuelan state of Zulia. She was crowned Miss Venezuela in 2004, participating the following year in Miss Universe in Bangkok, where she came out fourth among the finalists.
She participated in several soap operas afterward, including ‘Mi Primia Ciela’ (My Cousin Ciela), ‘Calle Luna, Calle Sol’ (‘Moon Street, Sun Street’), ‘La Mujer Perfecta’ (‘The Perfect Woman’), ‘Flor Salvaje’ (‘Wild Flower’) and ‘Pasión Prohibida’ (‘Forbidden Passion’)
Reactions to the death of actress
Recognized Venezuelan artists mourned Spear’s death through social media.
"Absolutely saddened, horrified, speechless, for the murder of my dear Monica Spear! My God!" said scriptwriter Leonardo Padrón via Twitter.
Salsa singer Oscar De León criticized insecurity in Venezuela, calling for an “iron fist” against criminals.
"It cannot be that innocent people die every day because of damn crime," the singer said, who also noted feeling an "impotent rage" by Spear's death
Venezuela is one of the most violent countries in the world with 39 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, according to Interior Minister Miguel Rodríguez. The NGO Venezuelan Observatory of Violent (OVV) estimates the rate to be higher at 79 per 100,000.
Publicado el 07 Enero 2014
Fuentes: NTN24 News, EFE