Belfast Telegraph

Michaela murder: Nightmare continues for widowed groom John McAreavey, still seeking the truth three years on

By Chris Kilpatrick

More than three years on from the murder of a young woman on her honeymoon, the pain remains raw for the family of Michaela McAreavey.

Her widower John clings to the hope that one day her killers will be brought before the courts and convicted.

As it stands, investigators on the so-called paradise island appear no closer to catching those responsible than they were back in 2011.

Michaela, daughter of GAA manager Mickey Harte, was found dead in her room at the luxury then Legends Hotel. She had been strangled and left in a bathtub.

Hopes were raised that at least justice would be served when a number of suspects were arrested by police in the following months.

But in July 2012 those hopes lay in tatters when two men charged in connection with the murder were acquitted by a jury after just two hours.

The Mauritian police were criticised, with many accusing investigators of botching the probe from the outset. Vital forensic clues were either missed or ignored, potentially key witnesses were not interviewed, and Michaela's heartbroken husband was held for five hours by police in the immediate aftermath of the murder.

The brutal killing took place just days after John and Michaela had been married.

The honeymooners checked in at the Legends Hotel resort on the north of the island on Saturday, January 8, 2011. Unknown to the couple, a sinister network of thieves was operating in the resort, obtaining dummy key cards to enter hotel rooms without being identified.

On the day of her murder, Michaela and John sat by the pool, where they ordered something to eat at the restaurant.

After lunch, at around 2.40pm, Michaela ordered tea and decided to go back to their room to get a Kit Kat biscuit. John waited for his wife to return for 15 minutes – but she never did. He then went to find her.

He could never have imagined his beautiful wife was lying dead in the bathtub. However, what happened in that hotel room may never be known, to the distress of those who loved Michaela and continue to fight in her memory.

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