Former Miss Venezuela and her British husband were laid to rest yesterday as her father vowed that he would not leave the country until he had custody of his surviving five-year old granddaughter.
Rafael Spear, who lives in Orlando, Florida, said yesterday that it is his “goal to take Maya out of this country”.
“I have every confidence that I will be able to attain custody of Maya”, he said. “This is no place for her to grow up after what has happened.”
However, Mr Spear’s comments are at odds with those of Thomas Berry’s family, who insist that “such decisions remain to be discussed”.
“We are leaving any decisions about Maya until after the pair are buried”, Thomas Berry Sr told The Telegraph. “We still don’t know what’s going to happen with her.”
Maya, who was hit in the leg by one of the six bullets which killed her parents during an attack on their car as they returned from holiday on Monday, was not present at yesterday’s funeral in Caracas’s east cemetery.
Hundreds of fans of Monica Spear, who was a well-known actress, thronged the church. “It’s a bit much to be honest”, said Thomas Berry Sr. “I’m not sure it’s something we’d have done in an Anglo-Saxon country”.
Venezuelan police on Friday charged six men and one woman with the pair’s murder.
They were apparently part of a gang, known as ‘The Bloodthirsties’, and had been committing regular robberies for the past four years on the stretch of motorway where the pair were killed in what it is thought was a botched robbery, police said.
The case has horrified Venezuela, a country which sees on average 70 daily homicides, and many are hoping that it will become a catalyst for change to the country’s security problems.