Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Harte tragedy: Newlywed Michaela left husband to get biscuits from room

(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
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and his daughter Michaella
Mickey Harte, pictured in 2006 with his daughter Michaela

It was just after 3.30pm on Monday afternoon and Michaela Harte left the hotel restaurant and headed for room 1025 to collect a little slice of home.

She had just had a sun-kissed lunch with her husband at one of the five beachside restaurants of her luxurious hotel.

She had decided to return to their room where she had kept some biscuits she had brought from home.

She planned to come straight back to where her husband was sitting so they could enjoy a simple pleasure -- some tea and biscuits.

Unbeknownst to her, a killer was lurking in her room, whom police believe may have used a magnetic key card to gain access. Michaela fought desperately for her life, but was overcome and strangled to death.

Her new husband became concerned when his bride did not return within 20 minutes so went back to their room to look for her.

There he made a grim discovery -- his wife lying dead on her back near the bathtub on the bathroom floor.

There were traces of blood in the bath and bruises on her head. The bedroom was in a state of disarray.

Devastated, he raised the alarm.

General manager of the Legends Hotel, Brice Lunot, rushed to their room, accompanied by the hotel doctor Dr Sunnassee.

The doctor administered first aid, but it was too late.

Police and emergency workers soon arrived on the scene.

An autopsy by the Chief Police Medical Officer, Dr Sudesh Kumar Gungadin confirmed that Michaela had died of strangulation -- she had also received blows to the head.

Detectives questioned Mr McAreavey, but he was released shortly afterwards.

The popular daughter of Tyrone football manager Mickey Harte who had married Down footballer John McAreavey at Ballymacilroy Church Co Tyrone on December 30 had landed in the tropical island just two days previously.

The couple had flown out to the idyllic island of Mauritius on Saturday to enjoy the second leg of their dream honeymoon after spending some time in Dubai.

They planned to fly out of Mauritius on Sunday, January 16.

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

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