herald

Friday 18 January 2019

DNA leads to 3 new suspects in Michaela murder

Michaela Harte
Michaela Harte

POLICE in Mauritius have identified three new suspects in the murder of Irish honeymooner Michaela McAreavey.

As investigators appear to have made a breakthrough in the case, new DNA evidence has been found on the key-card of the hotel room where she was found strangled.

Michaela's family last night confirmed they have been made aware of "new developments" in the case amid renewed hope that those responsible for her shocking murder will be brought to justice.

Michaela (28), the daughter of Tyrone GAA boss Mickey Harte, was on a dream honeymoon with her husband John McAreavey, when she was murdered in her hotel room in the former-Legends resort in January 2011.

Suspects

Now it has emerged that three suspects, all former workers at the Legends Hotel, have been identified by police as part of the new probe into her murder.

That fresh investigation was launched after the acquittal of two hotels workers Avisnash Treebhoowoon and Sandip Moneea who had been accused of killing her, in a long-drawn out trial in the summer of 2012.

It has involved the re-examination of a huge amount of evidence including DNA and forensic testing as well as interviews with 600 staff and former staff from Legends Hotel.

The investigation is set to be completed in a matter of days, sources on the island have said.

The Herald understands that a 'Special Squad' of the Mauritian Central Criminal Investigation Department (CCID) are to send a case file to the Director of Public Prosecutions Satyajit Boolell, early next week.

Meanwhile, new DNA evidence has been found on the keycard for Legends room 1025 after items collected in the investigation were sent to a laboratory in Bordeaux, France for analysis.

Mauritian police would not comment on the case and the manager of the former Legends Hotel, now re-branded as the Lux Grand Gaube, did not respond to a request for comment last night.

Michaela's family released a statement confirming that they have been kept informed of the latest progress in the case by the Mauritian authorities.

"The McAreavey and Harte families have been recently informed about new developments in the investigation into Michaela's murder," the statement said.

"They will await further information on those developments before making any additional comment."

Shocked

The violent death of the hugely popular teacher, and former Rose of Tralee contestant just days after she was married shocked the country.

Hotel workers Mr Treebhoowoon and Mr Moneea were found not guilty of her murder. Both men had denied the charges.

Last night Mr Treebhoowoon's lawyer Sanjeev Teeluckdharry said he didn't know who the new suspects are.

"They are reopening the inquiry. Later they will be interrogating these suspects. I have no indication, no idea of who they might be. They haven't formally announced the inquiry yet," he added.

hnews@herald.ie

Promoted articles

Entertainment News