Family prepares to bring Michaela's body home

The widower of murdered honeymooner Michaela McAreavey has described her as the “rock” of his life as he prepares to bring her body home from Mauritius.

Family prepares to bring Michaela's body home

The widower of murdered honeymooner Michaela McAreavey has described her as the “rock” of his life as he prepares to bring her body home from Mauritius.

In an emotional statement last night John McAreavey, 30, said his “beautiful wife” was his best friend.

Mrs McAreavey was strangled in her room in the luxury Legends Hotel on Monday.

The couple had been married for only 10 days.

Three hotel workers have appeared in court charged in connection with the murder of the 27-year-old teacher, who was the daughter of Mickey Harte, the celebrated manager of Ireland’s all-conquering Tyrone gaelic football team.

Mr McAreavey said: “I can’t describe in words how lost I feel as Michaela is not just the light of my life – she is my life.”

Mrs McAreavey’s brother, Mark Harte, as well as her widower’s brother and parents have arrived in Mauritius to help with arrangements to take her body back for a planned funeral at St Malachy’s Church, close to the family home outside Ballygawley, where she married on December 30.

Her grieving widower added his wife was a gift from God and now he had an angel looking over him.

Mr McAreavey, who had been on his own on the island until relatives arrived, added: “My beautiful wife, my best friend, my rock Michaela, has been taken from me and I still can’t take it in.

“Our hopes, our dreams and our future together are gone.

“I love my wife very, very much and my world revolved around her.”

The Co Down gaelic footballer said he shared his pain with Mrs McAreavey’s parents, Mickey and Marian, and her three brothers.

Three hotel employees were remanded in custody yesterday in connection with the killing which has sent shockwaves through Ireland. Two faced murder charges and one conspiracy to murder.

The Mauritius Police Force said the two men charged with the murder were Avinash Treebhoowoon, 29, a room attendant from Plaine des Roches, and Sandip Moneea, 41, a floor supervisor from Petit Raffray. Room attendant Raj Theekoy, 33, from Ramnarain Cottage, faces the conspiracy charge.

The brief court hearing in Mapou on the north of the island heard claims that one of the defendants had been beaten by police officers during questioning – an allegation magistrate Bono Mally pledged to look into.

The three defendants were remanded in police custody for a week to return to court next Wednesday, when they are expected either to be formally charged or released.

It is understood skin tissue found under the fingernails of Mrs McAreavey could prove crucial to the police case against the men.

DNA tests on forensic evidence recovered from the body of the Irish language teacher are due to be completed by the end of the week.

The newlywed fought for her life against her attacker in her room, according to the police.

Just before lunch on Monday, Mr McAreavey found his bride’s body in the bath with the water running.

It is understood the young honeymooner from near Ballygawley, Co Tyrone, interrupted burglars who had gained access to the room using an electronic key card.

It is hoped a trial will take place within six months.

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