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Six questioned over murder of Michaela Harte in Mauritius

Police in Mauritius tonight questioned six people over the murder of Michaela Harte, the daughter of one of Ireland’s most revered sports managers, who had been on honeymoon on the island.
Detectives believe the 27-year-old language teacher may have disturbed a robbery in her hotel room. Her body was found by her husband, John McAreavey, yesterday. She had been strangled.
Garda sources in Dublin today confirmed that their counterparts on the Indian Ocean island believe a number of intruders were already in the hotel room when Harte entered.
“The police there are looking at the times when she used her swipe card and have found that the door had already been opened a couple of minutes before she went back to the room,” one garda said.
Harte’s father, Tyrone’s Gaelic football manager, Mickey Harte, described Michaela as his “little jewel” as he spoke of his family’s devastation.
“This is the worst nightmare that anyone can imagine. If you think things can be bad, then you go beyond that because that is where we are,” he said, as he stood with two of his three sons at his home near Ballygawley, County Tyrone.
“This is too horrible to contemplate. We are just all devastated. It is the worst of the worst and our hearts are broken.
“What a day she had on her wedding day. She was just radiant, a beautiful girl, and I just love her to bits. So does her whole family. We are so devastated.”
Mauritian police confirmed the death was a murder inquiry. Superintendent Yoosoof Soopun said officers had identified six potential suspects. He said McAreavey had been in the restaurant of the Legends hotel when his wife was murdered.
“She had gone back to the room to get some biscuits to put in her tea and, when she failed to return, her husband went to look for her,” Soopun said. “When he found her in the room, she had been killed. He tried to help her, but she was already dead.”A postmortem has shown she was strangled – she died from neck compression.”
Soopun said the killer had used an electronic key card to enter the room. “There was no forced entry into the room,” he added. “Whoever killed her definitely used an electronic card.”
He said police and the government were deeply concerned, adding: “We are doing everything we can to find whoever was responsible.”
Bishop John McAreavey, an uncle of the groom, married the couple on 30 December in Ballymacilroy, County Tyrone.
Speaking in Banbridge, County Down, he said many questions remained unanswered. “”We are upset that she is dead. That is what we are struggling to come to terms with,” he said.”We are like everyone else. We hope that the questions that surround her death will be answered. We hope, in time, the situation will become clearer.”
The impact the killing has had on Mauritius was made clear by the minister of tourism and leisure, Nandcoomar Bodha, who said: “It is the first time that a murder has ever taken place in a hotel in Mauritius and the island’s extremely low crime rate means this has come as a terrible shock to the whole nation. The entire island is in mourning.”
The couple arrived at the hotel on Saturday, and had been due to leave next Sunday. They had spent the first part of their honeymoon in Dubai.
On the second leg of their holiday they had booked in at the luxury Legends, in the village of Grand Gaube in the northern part of Mauritius

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