Irish Honeymoon Bride Strangled In 5-Star Island Hotel

by Libby Zay 
Posted Jan 12th 2011 10:20 AMUpdated Jan 12th 2011 10:35 AM

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An Irish honeymoon bride was found strangled in her luxury hotel room in Mauritius on Monday, shaking the high-end tourism industry on the island.

Michaela McAreavey, a 27-year-old beauty queen and daughter of Gaelic football boss Mickey Harte, was found dead in her room at the five-star Legends hotel.

AFP
reports John McAreavey, her new husband and a celebrated Gaelic football player, was questioned but not kept in custody.

"He's isolated out there, he has had an awful time, our hearts go out to him," said Harte of his new son-in-law. "Leave him alone, let him grieve he's in such a lonely place."

According to police officials, the couple was eating at the hotel restaurant when Michaela reportedly told her husband she needed to go back to the room to get some biscuits.


When she did not return, her husband went to the room but could not open the door because his wife had the electronic key. Hotel staff eventually helped open the door, which bore no signs of forced entry.

Inside, the young woman was found on her back. A police forensic expert confirmed the cause of death to reporters: "asphyxia due to compression of the neck."

CNN reports Mauritius Police arrested three suspects who worked in the hotel. A room attendant and floor supervisor are being charged with murder, and another room attendant faces a conspiracy charge.

"We presume they were inside and burgling the room when the lady returned and were surprised and attacked her," says police Superintendent Yoosoof Soopun.

Located off the southeast coast of Africa in the southwest Indian Ocean, Mauritius is a volcanic island nation surrounded by coral reefs and lagoons. The island welcomes 950,000 visitors per year, but is best known as a honeymoon destination.

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