Friday 20 April 2018

Details of Michaela Harte's final moments emerge

Accused Abinash Treeboowoon arrives at Mapou District Court in Mauritius. Photo: AP
Accused Sandip Moneea arrives at Mapou District Court in Mauritius. Photo: AP
Accused hotel employee Raj Theekoy is led into Mapou District Court in Mauritius. Photo: AP
A devastated Mickey Harte outside the family home near Ballygawley, Co Tyrone yesterday with two of his sons Matthew (left) and Michael
Michaela Harte in fancy dress at St Malachy's Primary School, where she had attended as a pupil and later performed her teaching placement
Mickey and Marian Harte
Balloons bearing Michaela and John's names were still in evidence yesterday on a signpost near St Malachy's Church where the young couple got married just weeks ago
Michaela and John on their wedding day
Michaela Harte at the Rose of Tralee in 2004 with escort Barry Mollaghan (left) and host Ryan Tubridy
A member of staff at the hotel speaks to the press after the discovery of the 27-year-old's body

Murdered newlywed Michaela Harte was found strangled in a bath with the water still running, it was revealed today.

Skin tissues were also discovered underneath the young teacher's fingernails after she fought for her life when she disturbed thieves who had broken into her hotel room, according to new reports from Mauritius.

Fresh details emerged as three men, all employees at the luxury Legends Hotel where she was staying, appeared in court charged in connection with her death, two of them accused of murder.

Chief police medical officer Dr Sudesh Kumar Gungadin discovered several bruises on Michaela's head.

Investigating officers believe that, once the 27-year-old was wrestled to the ground, she was dragged into the bath tub and strangled before the water was turned on.

Police believe she came face to face with at least one attacker who used a dummy swipe card to gain access to the room just two minutes before she arrived to fetch some biscuits while she had tea with her new husband, John McAreavey, in the hotel restaurant.

Mr McAreavey went to look for his wife after she had been gone for 10 minutes and found the hotel room door locked.

He knocked but did not receive any response so he went to reception and a hotel employee accompanied him back to Room 1025 where they used a master card to open the door.

According to reports on the island today, the hotel staff member then left the scene while Mr McAreavey, an accountant, went inside and discovered the body of his wife of just 12 days.

He immediately alerted reception and the hotel doctor was called in.

Police investigating the murder have examined CCTV surveillance tapes as part of their case which will be presented at a later hearing when they hope to formally charge the three men.

Press Association

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