Belfast Telegraph

Fears grow Michaela McAreavey's killers may never face their day of reckoning

By Greg Harkin

Prayers will be said for Michaela McAreavey this weekend in the country graveyard where she was laid to rest, her family no nearer the truth behind her murder four years on.

The Harte family will remember the school teacher and beauty queen at St Malachy's Church in Ballymacilroy in Co Tyrone.

They have remained dignified throughout four years of pain, sustained by their religious faith.

Michaela's dad Mickey, the Tyrone football manager, has poured his energies into the foundation set up in her name - with summer camps increasing year after year throughout the island.

However, on another island half a world away, police hunting Michaela's killers say there has been no new breakthrough, despite hopes being raised just a few months ago.

Widower John McAreavey and the Harte family were told last September that a new investigation into three new suspects was under way.

"There have been no new developments in this case," said a spokesman for Mauritius police in the capital Port Louis. "We are not planning any specific appeal or comment at this time."

Michaela was found murdered in the suite of the Legends Hotel on January 10, 2011, after returning to her room to get biscuits to share with John over a cup of tea.

Devastated John later found her murdered body in the bathtub. In July 2012, hotel staff Sandip Moneea and Avinash Treebhoowoon were cleared after a lengthy trial of any involvement in the killing.

Four years after the murder, the Harte and McAreavey families said they did not want to comment at this time.

But there is a growing belief that the killers will never be caught and the announcement of new suspects last September was a response to the growing exasperation of the family.

"They are growing increasingly frustrated by the slow progress of the criminal proceedings," said a family spokesman.

Mauritian Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam had previously stated that justice would be done in the case. However, the family have said that "as time marches on and the criminal proceedings seem to have ground to a halt, this promise is ringing hollow".

When police did announce there were four new suspects last autumn, the family acknowledged the statement.

Mauritius police sources were quoted as saying a new trial could begin within days.

The new investigation had, apparently, focused on a dummy electronic card found in Michaela and John's room.

But no arrests have been made with one legal source in Port Louis saying: "Political pressure was put on the police to solve the case but it is becoming increasingly unlikely that anyone will ever be charged and found guilty of this murder."

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