Posted on January 10, 2014

Five People Arrested over the Shooting of Former Miss Venezuela and Her British Husband in Front of Their Daughter

Gerard Couzens, Daily Mail (London), January 10, 2014

These are the five adults arrested over the motorway murders of former Miss Venezuela Monica Spear and her British-born ex-husband Thomas Berry.

Police in Venezuela released the mugshots today as they revealed they were hunting four more men including one thought to be on the run with the gun used to shoot the tragic pair dead in front of their five-year-old daughter.

Two minors aged 17 and 15–whose names and photos have not been released–are also in custody.

Detectives named the alleged ‘material author’ of the double shooting as a 19-year-old called Jean Carlos Colina Alcala.

The suspects also include a 26-year-old fugitive army deserter and career criminal nicknamed El Adolfito–‘Little Adolfo’ in Spanish–who was first arrested for stealing a motorbike aged just 14.

Police chief Jose Gregorio Sierralta said the discovery of Miss Spear’s camera at the house of the sole female detainee was vital in helping them identify the gang alleged to have shot dead the former beauty queen and her ex-husband during a botched attempt to steal their car.

He also identified the gang as the ‘Bloodthirsty Ones of El Cambur’ the area 200 miles west of the capital Caracas where Monday’s night horror shootings occurred.

The murders had been blamed by local papers on a gang called the ‘Quick Ones.’

Police also released mugshots of the men they are hunting–including a 21-year-old named as Nelfren Antonio Jimenez who is believed to have the murder weapon.

The others were named as Franklin Alvarez, nicknamed ‘The Stain’; Gerardo Contreras, nicknamed ‘The Cat’; and a man police have yet to identify fully who is nicknamed ‘The Junior One.’

Mr Sierralta said: ‘Jean Carlos Colina Alcala is allegedly the material author of the homicides of Miss Spear and her partner and the others under arrest collaborated directly with the commission of the crime.

‘The motive of robbery has been confirmed with the discovery of a digital camera belonging to Miss Spear during a search of Eva Josefina Armas Mejias’ home.

‘The intention was to sell the camera to another of the suspects.

‘Investigators have managed the rapid identification of the authors of this crime and have been able to apprehend and desarticulate a dangerous gang dubbed the ‘Bloodthirsty Ones of El Cambur.’

Travel firm boss Mr Berry, 39, and his ex-wife, 29, who became a successful actress after being crowned Miss Venezuela in 2004, were shot dead on Monday night after puncturing on a motorway.

Thomas Berry and Monica Spears

Thomas Berry and Monica Spear

They were attacked as their Toyota Corolla was being loaded onto a tow truck they had stopped.

They were murdered after locking themselves in their car to stop their killers stealing their vehicle.

Their daughter Maya, who was shot in the leg, was told the shattering news her parents were dead after leaving hospital.

She is now staying with relatives in Caracas while her family decide whether to take her to the States where her maternal grandparents live.

Her paternal grandparents, both British, are expected to remain in Venezuela.

Retired maths professor Tom and his wife Kate moved to the south American country with their son when he was just seven.

Their daughter Katie, who now lives in Edinburgh, has flown to Venezuela to attend today’s funerals for Miss Spear and her brother.

The dead couple divorced last year but remained friends for the sake of their daughter.

Speaking of the divorce recently to a local newspaper, Monica Spear said: ‘It was a spectacular divorce.

‘My friends ask me if I have suffered and they’re amazed when I tell them I haven’t.

‘What happened is that I married a very civilised person and when we took the decision to go our separate ways we talked about the fact we had a daughter together and decided we should carry on seeing each other for the rest of our lives and it was best for our daughter that we got on well with each other.

‘I want the best for him and he wants the best for me.

‘I can assure you there are no problems between us.’

[Editor’s Note: The mugshots can be found at the original article link below.]