Three years ago, the newly crowned Miss Honduras went missing.
Maria Jose Alvarado had tagged along to the birthday party of her sister's boyfriend one evening, but there was no sign of either of the girls the following day.
The morning after the party, her sister Sofia's boyfriend Plutarco Ruiz (whose party it had been), called the girls' mother, Teresa Munoz, to say that the young women had left the party in a car with some other people.
She says that he sounded "nervous" when she spoke to him on the phone, reported news.com.au.
Six days later, the bodies of Maria Jose, 19, and her sister, Sofia, 23, were found buried in a shallow grave, not far from where they went missing. They had been buried close to a river bank in the hope they would decompose quickly.
This week, Sofia's boyfriend Plutarco Antonio Ruiz was found guilty of the double slaying in a trial in which medical experts said he faked mental illness.
On the fatal night, he had gotten into an argument with Sofia (he had become angry about her dancing with another man) and shot her, then Maria Jose as she tried to flee.
The younger sister was shot 12 times in the back.
At the time Maria was being buried, she should have been boarding a plane to fly to London to compete in the Miss World pageant. It would have been the first plane ride of her life.
Mother of the victims Teresa Munoz said she is not happy with the result after the jury decided Ruiz was guilty of murder of Maria Jose and feminicide for Sophia - a sex-based hate crime that carries a higher sentence.
"We are not happy. Both the cases were femicide and we might put in an appeal," she told AFP.
On paper, Honduras is a god-fearing tropical paradise. It has a delightful climate and is dotted with churches. But in reality it's overrun with streets gangs and drug trafficking, and has the highest murder rate in the world for a country not at war. There's an estimated 90 to 95 killings per 100,000 people.
It is one of Latin America's poorest countries and last year was the main source of a surge in women and unaccompanied minors migrating to the United States, many to escape the violence. It's been termed an "invisible refugee crisis".
Woman are one of the biggest targets: according to the U.N., Honduras has the highest "femicide" rate in the world.
To get some idea of the carnage, Honduras has around the same population as New South Wales, and one woman is murdered every 16 hours.
A recent news piece on the ABC in the US described Honduras as the "most dangerous places in the world to be female".
Maria's mother says the only "unusual" thing about her daughters' murder was that people around the world took notice. It took a beauty queen dying to get the issue on the global radar.
"Here in Honduras, women aren't worth anything," Munoz told ABC journalist Juju Chang.
She believes that the only reason her daughters' bodies were found is because of Maria's fame. Otherwise, she says, she would probably still be looking for answers.
Her viewpoint was echoed by local TV personality and former presidential candidate Salvador Nasrallah, who worked with Maria on TV. He said "a lot of girls die this way, but because they're not famous, it doesn't get the attention and the crimes go unpunished.
"She was a girl of good principles who fell into a trap, a game with guns, and ended up a victim of a violent system".
According to the ABC report, much of this gender-based violence is due to a sexist "machismo" culture of gangs, guns, and girls, where a man's power is often measured in bullets. Couple this with a government unable to cope with the deluge of drug-related crime and you get a culture where women are disposable.
"Men can do anything they want to women in Honduras," said Neesa Medina, an analyst with Honduras' Centre for Women's Rights.
And it's not just the murder. There is the rape and assault, that usually goes unreported.
In 2014 the U.N. reported that 95 per cent of cases of sexual violence and femicide were never investigated.
One woman Nightline spoke tosaid she was brutally raped by a powerful man in their village.
"They left a note saying that if I spoke up they were going to kidnap my daughter, rape her, kill my son and go leave my son's head at the door of my home on a platter," the woman said.
Terrified, she said she stayed quiet and didn't tell her children what had happened, even after she realised she had gotten pregnant with her rapist's child.
She said no one would ever suggest she testify against the man who raped her, instead most people suggest she leave the country. She adds that she believes he had already murdered another woman, but was never arrested for the crime.
Her family is now hiding in a shelter, awaiting relocation to another, safer country.
Often, the violence comes from within the home. Heydi Hernandez, a 30-year-old mother of five, lives with the brutal scars from the night her husband attacked her with a machete after an argument. She says her eldest daughter witnessed as he severed both of her feet.
"My legs were badly injured. I remember a part was just attached by a piece of skin," Hernandez said.
"Thank goodness I had the blessing to be alive, because there are others that don't," Hernandez said. "It's time that we move on and ... we stop the mistreatment from men."
Neesa Medina (from the Honduras' Centre for Women's Rights) tells the ABC that reporting crimes and obtaining restraining orders often do little to prevent women from being attacked. "How powerful is a bullet? Is a bullet more powerful than a piece of paper?
"We're talking about women who have three, four, or five kids. So if you cannot assure her and her family to be safe, and the best you can do ... is to show her a piece of paper, that's almost like signing her death sentence right there."