Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Harte tragedy: Michaela's killer may still be on the loose, warns police chief

Michaela McAreavey  on her wedding day
Michaela McAreavey on her wedding day
John McAreavey and wife Michaela Harte are seen on their wedding day
Suspect Avinash Treebhoowoon (29) is brought to Mapou Court, Port Louis Mauritius, Wednesday, Jan.12, 2011. The room attendant has been charged with the murder of Michaela McAreavey.
Suspect Sandip Moneea (41) covers his face as he is escorted to Mapou Court, Port Louis Mauritius, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011. The floor supervisor has been charged with the murder of Michaela McAreavey.
Raj Theekoy (33), faces a conspiracy charge in connection with the murder of Michaela McAreavey.
A distraught Mickey Harte with son Michael.
Michaela Harte (left) in St.Malachy's Primary School where she attended as a pupil and later completed her teaching placement.
Michaela Harte in with Throphy in St.Malachy's Primary School where Michaela attended and later done her teaching placement
Michaela Harte Far Right front in St.Malachy's Primary School where she attended and later done her teaching placement..
Micheala Harte in fancy dress in St.Malachy's Primary School where she attended as a pupil and later completed her teaching placement..
A distraught Mickey Harte with sons Matthew (left) and Michael at their family home near Ballygawley
Michaela Harte after she had received a B.Ed at Queens University Belfast. (Picture taken in June 2006)
Balloons with the couple's names giving directions to St Malachy's Church outside Ballygwley where they recently got married
A distraught Mickey Harte at his family home near Ballygawley
Wedding flowers from the couple's recent marriage at St Malachy's Church outside Ballygawley
Alan Lewis - PhotopressBelfast.co.uk 11/1/2011Mandatory Credit - Picture by Justin KernoghanA distraught Mickey Harte with sons Matthew (left) and Michael at their family home near Ballygawley today.Michaela, the daughter of Tyrone gaelic football manager Mickey Harte was strangled, Mauritius police have said.Michaela McAreavey, 27, was found dead at the Legends hotel in Mauritius where she was staying while on honeymoon.The 27-year-old Irish woman had married John McAreavey, a member of Down's gaelic football team, on 30 December. He is not a suspect.Police in Mauritius intend to question six people about the killing later on Tuesday.
A wedding sign and balloons telling wedding guests directions to the church near the family home in Ballygawley
Mickey Harte (centre), is comforted at the family home outside Ballygawley in Co Tyrone
(From the left) Mickey Harte, John McAreavey, Michaela Harte, Bishop John McAreavey and Brendan McAreavey are seen on the wedding day of Michaela Harte and John McAreavey
Donegal Celtic and Cliftonville observe a minutes silence in respect of Michaela Harte at the game in west Belfast
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and his daughter Michaella
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and his daughter Michaela after the All Ireland Football Final 28/9/2003
Michaela Harte, daughter of Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte. Pic by Ian Magill. 23/3/10.Real Woman feature by Stephanie Bell.
Michaela Harte
Irish News handout of (left to right) Mickey Harte, John McAreavey, Michaela Harte, Bishop John McAreavey and Brendan McAreavey on the wedding day of Michaela Harte and John McAreavey at St. Malacheys Church Ballymacilrory on December 30, 2010. Michaela, the daughter of Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte was murdered in her hotel room, police in Mauritius confirmed today.
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte with his son David and daughter Michaela after his side's win at Croke Park
Tyrone GAA boss Mickey Harte graduates at Queens University pictured with his daughter Machela who also graduatedand became a Bachelor in Education
Michaela Harte appearing on the television programme the Late Late Show.
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte celebrates with his daughter Michaela and his son Matthew
John McAreavey and wife Michaela Harte are seen on their wedding day at St. Malacheys Church Ballymacilrory on December 30, 2010.
Mickey Harte, pictured in 2006 with his daughter Michaela

Police in Mauritius have warned that Michaela McAreavey’s killer may not yet have been caught.



The claim was made after three workers at the luxury Legends Hotel, where the newlywed was on honeymoon, appeared in court charged in connection with her murder.

Police chief Dhun Iswur Rampersad said that officers were “keeping an open mind” and that “there may have been some other guy who did the job”.

There were unconfirmed reports last night that two of |the three men arrested have confessed to the 27-year-old teacher’s murder.

It was reported that hotel room attendants Avinash Treebhoowoon (29) and Sandip Moneea (41) admitted to police that they killed Michaela.

However, head of the murder investigation team, Superintendent Yoosoof Soopun, denied that any confessions had been made.

“No, there have been no confessions. The investigation is ongoing. It is a very serious case,” he said.

Michaela’s husband, Down GAA footballer John McAreavey, who discovered her dead body in the bathroom of their hotel room on Monday afternoon, said he has been left heartbroken by her death.

“Words have no meaning. My beautiful wife, my best friend, my rock Michaela has been taken from me and I still can't take it in,” he said.

Suspects Treebhoowoon and Moneea appeared in Mapou District Court on the north of the island yesterday charged with murder. A third room attendant, Raj Theekoy (33), also appeared in court on a charge of conspiracy.

It is understood that all three employees had passed background checks in order to be “certified” to work at Legends Hotel.

During the hearing, which was in the Creole language, alleged killer Treebhoowoon claimed that he had been laid naked on a table and beaten on his feet with a hosepipe by police in a bid to get him to admit his guilt.

He added: “A towel was wrapped over my face and I was punched all over my body.”

Magistrate Bono Mally remanded the men in police custody for a week. They will return to court next Wednesday when they will either be formally charged or released.

Under the legal system in Mauritius, criminal suspects can be charged before an investigation is complete. A director of public prosecutions later decides whether to proceed with the initial charge.

All three men face up to 60 years in jail if found guilty.



It is understood that Michaela’s body has been released to her family who are hoping to bring her home today.

Her body remained in the morgue of the nearby Victoria Hospital last night.

However, police on the island have said they would like Mr |McAreavey to remain until early next week to assist with inquiries.

Police are hoping that skin tissue found under Michaela’s fingernails will prove crucial to their inquiry.

It is understood DNA tests on forensic evidence recovered from her body are due to be completed by the end of the week.

To leave a message of condolence to the Harte family please click here

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