Mauritius police have six suspects for Michaela's murder

The daughter of Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte was murdered in her hotel room, police in Mauritius confirmed today.

The daughter of Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte was murdered in her hotel room, police in Mauritius confirmed today.

A post-mortem examination on 27-year-old teacher Michaela Harte revealed that she had been strangled.

She was found dead in the room by her new husband, Down senior Gaelic footballer John McAreavey.

The couple were on honeymoon after getting married less than two weeks ago.

Superintendent Yoosoof Soopun, from the Mauritius Police Force, said officers had identified six potential suspects and were confident of an arrest later today.

He said Mr McAreavey was in the restaurant of the 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,” he said.

“When he found her in the room, she had been killed. He tried to help her but she was already dead.

“A post-mortem has showed she was strangled, she died from neck compression.”

Mr Soopun said the killer had used an electronic key card to enter the room.

“There was no forced entry into the room,” he said.

“Whoever killed her definitely used an electronic card.”

He added: “This is being viewed with much concern by the police and government of Mauritius. We are doing everything we can to find whoever was responsible.”

A member of staff at the four-star Legends Hotel, who went to the room to try to revive the young teacher, later consoled her husband as he made a statement to police.

Afterwards he told the Press Association: “John is far from home, far from his family and in a country where he does not know anybody. I am just here to provide as much help as I can. This is a terrible situation. He needs support.”

The murdered woman’s brother Mark and a member of the McAreavey family are expected to fly out to the Indian Ocean island today.

The couple were on the second leg of their honeymoon after flying out to Dubai.

Mr Harte left them at Dublin Airport the day after the marriage ceremony, close to the family home near Ballygawley, Co Tyrone.

An official from the Irish Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa, is to arrive today to assist Mr McAreavey.

The hotel is in the centre of the fishing village of Grand Gaube, not far from Grand Bay in the north-eastern corner of the island. The couple booked in on Saturday and were due to leave on Sunday.

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