File - Venezuelan Monica Spear poses after being elected Miss Venezuela, in Caracas, on September 23, 2004. (AFP PHOTO/Andrew ALVAREZ)
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A popular soap opera actress and former Miss Venezuela, 29-year-old Monica Spear surely could have afforded to vacation elsewhere.Yet she and her ex-husband, who worked in the travel industry, spent New Year's in the mountains of western Venezuela with their 5-year-old daughter then visited the plains of Apure state.On their return by car to Caracas, Spear and Thomas Henry Berry, a 39-year-old British citizen, became the latest symbols of the rampant violent crime that is afflicting this oil-rich nation.Two tow trucks arrived almost immediately afterward, said Sierralta, and the attack occurred after the car had been lifted onto one of the trucks.Police in Puerto Cabello arrested five suspects, some under the age of 18, Sierralta said.Berry's public-facing Facebook page features a series of photos of the couple in blissful days, including a trip to Venezuela's spectacular Angel Falls that preceded their daughter's birth.Another view into their life was available through the Twitter account of Spear, who had more than 355,000 followers.
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