Former Miss Venezuela Monica Spear and her ex-husband, Thomas Henry Berry, were murdered in front of their five-year-old daughter on Monday night.

The family was driving in Caracas when their tires blew out. Police believe objects were deliberately placed on the road – a common ploy for criminals in Venezuela.

Their car was already attached to a tow truck when the bandits arrived. The couple locked the car, but the gunmen opened fire, killing Spear and her ex, and injuring their daughter.

Venezuela’s Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez said that five people have been detained and are being interrogated.

Spear graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2004, the same year she was crowned Miss Venezuela. She later became a soap opera star.

Telemundo issued a statement saying : “Monica was not only a great professional as we saw in the two novelas she worked with us – but also an excellent person, always enthusiastic, full of strength and determination.  We wish a quick recovery to her daughter and send our deepest condolences to her family.”

In Venezuela, there were more than 20,000 murders last year. The majority of those cases go unsolved.