One of the hotel workers charged with murdering a former Irish beauty queen on her honeymoon in Mauritius has confessed to the brutal killing, according to police reports.
Avinash Treebhoowoon, 29, has allegedly admitted to Mauritian officers that he killed Michaela McAreavey in a panic after she caught him rummaging through her belongings at a luxury hotel.
The teacher, 28, had returned to her room to get some biscuits for afternoon tea she was due to share with her husband at a restaurant in the hotel.
Treebhoowoon, a cleaner at the hotel, had allegedly entered her room with the intent to steal money and jewellery after claiming to have found the door to room ajar.
But hotel records are said to show that someone gained access using a false electronic key card at 3.42pm on Monday, two minutes before she then entered the room.
Detectives have also charged two other hotel workers over the death.
The former beauty queen was then strangled after first trying to fight off her attackers.
Her body was discovered face up in the room’s bath with the water left running.
Police say this was a desperate attempt to mask her death as a drowning suicide.
A post mortem concluded she died as a result of “asphyxia due to compression of the neck”. Several bruises were also found on her head.
Police have ruled her widower John McAreavey, 30, out as a suspect, but witnesses have allegedly told detectives that the pair had a disagreement the night before she died.
All three workers were employed at the five-star Legends Hotel, a popular honeymoon resort in the village of Grande Gaube, on the country’s north coast.
John McAreavey released a statement last night saying his hopes, dreams and future were gone and he had been left heartbroken and devastated.
“I love my wife, very, very much and my world revolved around her,” he said. “I can’t describe in words how lost I feel as Michaela is not just the light of my life – she is my life.”
Paul Jones, the CEO of the group that owns Legends Hotel, offered his condolences to the families.
“We are a responsible company devoted to providing a quality service up to international standards,” he said in a statement.
“I’ve been working in the tourism sector in Mauritius for 35 years and this is the first time I’ve been faced by a tragedy on this scale.
“The police are conducting an inquiry and we await the results of the investigation.”