Police investigating the murder of honeymoon bride Michaela McAreavey in Mauritius more than three years ago are understood to be focusing on four new potential suspects.
The 27-year-old daughter of Tyrone manager Mickey Harte was murdered in her honeymoon suite at the luxury Legends hotel on January 10, 2011. The newlywed’s body was found in the bathtub by her husband John, who is from Banbridge - the couple were due to live in Laurencetown.
A new probe was launched by Mauritian police after two former hotel workers were acquitted of the crime following a high-profile trial on the holiday island in the summer of 2012.
A new trial into the Co. Tyrone teacher’s murder is now expected following the Mauritian DPP’s revelation yesterday that police were working hard to bring ‘fresh and compelling evidence’ to trial.
In July 2012, hotel staff Sandip Moneea and Avinash Treebhoowoon, were acquitted of the bride’s murder and the case seemed to come to a standstill.
Last night Ms McAreavey’s family issued a statement as the Mauritian Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Satyajit Boolell, said Mauritius’s Central Criminal Investigation Department was working to bring ‘fresh’ evidence to ‘educate’ a new trial.
The Mauritian newspaper L’Express reported that four potential suspects – all employees of the former Legends hotel – were being investigated by the CCID.
The newspaper also claimed it would be a ‘matter of days’ before the investigation was ‘re-opened’ at the Assizes Court of Mauritius.
The Harte and McAreavey families, who have previously been critical about what they claimed was a lack of progress in finding the killers, said they had now been told of developments in the investigation.
A statement issued by the families said: “The McAreavey and Harte families have been recently informed about new developments in the investigation into Michaela’s murder.
“They will await further information on those developments before making any additional comment.”
Mr McAreavey, a 28-year-old accountant, spoke of the couple’s love for each other while giving evidence as a prosecution witness at the initial trial at the Supreme Court in the island’s capital, Port Louis.
He said his own life had effectively ended when his ‘wonderful, wonderful’ wife was killed.
“Michaela was a wonderful, wonderful person, a really special human,” he said during his evidence.