Mexican beauty queen killed in shootout involving hitman boyfriend
Shot dead ... Maria Susana Flores. Photo: Facebook
A 22-year-old Mexican beauty queen has been killed in a gunfight between soldiers and a suspected gang in the northwestern state of Sinaloa, prosecutors say.
The body of Maria Susana Flores, who was Miss Sinaloa 2012, was found in the car used by the armed group that exchanged fire with soldiers on Saturday, said an official from the state prosecutor's office.
The skirmish left a total of five civilians and one soldier dead in the town of Mocorito.
"She was one of the people who died in the clash," the official said.
Mexican media say the brunette, who participated in the Miss Oriental Tourism pageant in China in May, was travelling with her boyfriend, a suspected hitman, when the shootout erupted. The boyfriend also died.
The armed group is linked to Orso Ivan Gastelum, the suspected leader of a group of hitmen working for the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel.
Families and friends held a funeral in the state capital of Culiacan on Sunday, covering Flores in a veil amid a heavy military presence.
On its Facebook page, the Miss Sinaloa pageant organisers, Nuestra Belleza Sinaloa, voiced its "deepest condolences" for the death of Flores, who was a "charming and happy young woman with a great future".