News24

Mauritius honeymoon murder case reopens

2012-07-26 19:17

Port Louis - Police in Mauritius said they reopened on Thursday the investigation into the murder of honeymooner Michaela McAreavey, the daughter of a leading Irish sports personality.

McAreavey, 27, a school teacher from Northern Ireland and the daughter of Tyrone Gaelic football boss Mickey Harte, was strangled in January 2011 and her body dumped in the bathtub of her luxury hotel room.

Earlier this month a jury found two hotel workers not guilty of the murder following an eight-week trial, one of the most high profile court cases ever seen on the Indian Ocean island.

"I do not want to leave anything to chance," said Yeshwant Callee, the police officer in charge of the investigation.

A police team began to take fingerprints and DNA samples of all the employees of the hotel where the murder took place.

With tourism making up more than a quarter of the economy of the white-beach and palm-fringed island, McAreavey's murder made headlines at home and abroad.

Critics say a slapdash approach by police investigators may have jeopardised key forensic evidence.

The case has shone a different light on a normally tranquil tropical island with one of the highest per capita incomes in Africa.

Mauritius, a volcanic island surrounded by coral reefs and lagoons, is best known for top-end tourism and as a honeymoon destination, with nearly one million tourists a year, employing directly or indirectly around 100 000 people.