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Irish bride strangled during Mauritius honeymoon

John McAreavey and wife Michaela Harte are seen on their wedding day at St. Malacheys Church Ballymacilrory Ireland on Thursday Dec. 30, 2010. Authorities say that young Irish teacher Michaela Harte honeymooning on the island nation of Mauritius has been found strangled. An officer in the Mauritius police force told the Press Association on Tuesday Jan. 11, 2011 that Michaela Harte's husband was ruled out as a suspect. John McAreavey and wife Michaela Harte are seen on their wedding day at St. Malacheys Church Ballymacilrory Ireland on Thursday Dec. 30, 2010. Authorities say that young Irish teacher Michaela Harte honeymooning on the island nation of Mauritius has been found strangled. An officer in the Mauritius police force told the Press Association on Tuesday Jan. 11, 2011 that Michaela Harte's husband was ruled out as a suspect. (AP Photo/Irish News/PA)
By Villen Anganan
Associated Press / January 11, 2011

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PORT LOUIS, Mauritius—A young Irish teacher killed while honeymooning on the island nation of Mauritius was strangled, officials said Tuesday. Michaela Harte's body was discovered by her husband Monday, according to a statement by the four-star Legends Hotel where the slaying occurred.

The 27-year-old bride was the daughter of a prominent manager in Gaelic football, Mickey Harte. She had married Gaelic footballer John McAreavey on Dec. 30. The couple had checked into the hotel on Saturday.

"We are advised that a number of staff members are being interviewed by the police," the statement by the hotel said. "An investigation is under way."

Michaela Harte's husband was ruled out as a suspect after a lengthy interview during which he was cooperative and said he would take a DNA test if needed, an officer in the Mauritius police force said.

She left him in a restaurant when she returned to their room, Superintendent Yoosoof Soopun said, adding that the killer entered her room by using an electronic key card.

"I am distraught by this news. Every possible support will be given to the bereaved families and we thank the government for the assistance and cooperation that has been extended to us and the bereaved families as well," said Paul Jones, the chief executive officer of the hotel group, in the statement. He offered his condolences to both families.

Soopun said police are questioning 10 suspects.

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