South American Beauty Queen Accused of Strangling Husband in Guyana

A Guyanese beauty queen and reigning Mrs. South America was charged Friday with strangling her wealthy husband, who was found dead at the couple's estate in the capital.

Carolan Lynch, who was crowned last October, was not required to enter a plea when she appeared before a judge.

Her husband, Farouk Razack, director of the largest currency exchange business in Guyana, was found dead Monday in the couple's bedroom, police said in a statement.

Police said Lynch, believed to be in her early 30s, told detectives she found her 44-year-old husband's body after returning home from driving her daughter to school and thought he had suffered a stroke.

But investigators said an autopsy found abrasions on Razack's neck and determined he had been strangled. There were no signs of forced entry at the home, and authorities expected to charge at least one other person with conspiracy to murder. No further details were disclosed.

The beauty queen's attorney, Nigel Hughes, was quoted in the Stabroek News as saying she was innocent and is not strong enough to have strangled her husband.

The co-host of a local television show and author of a newspaper column about beauty, Lynch competed this year in the Mrs. World Pageant for married women in St. Petersburg, Russia.