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Body of slain newlywed returned to Northern Ireland

By Peter Taggart, For CNN
Michaela Harte-McAreavey was married to Gaelic footballer John McAreavey just two weeks.
Michaela Harte-McAreavey was married to Gaelic footballer John McAreavey just two weeks.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Michaela Harte-McAreavey's wake will take place over the weekend
  • The 27-year-old teacher was strangled in her luxury hotel room in Mauritius
  • She was on her honeymoon with Gaelic footballer John McAreavey
  • Police think Harte-McAreavey walked in on a burglary
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Belfast, Northern Ireland (CNN) -- The body of Michaela Harte-McAreavey, a newlywed killed on her honeymoon in Mauritius, has been returned to her home in Northern Ireland.

Friends and neighbors lined a route Friday night as the hearse carrying the body passed.

The 27-year-old daughter of Tyrone Gaelic football manager Mickey Harte and wife of Down Gaelic footballer John McAreavey was found strangled in her hotel room on the Indian Ocean island Monday. She was killed less than two weeks after her wedding.

Three suspects are all employees of a luxury hotel where the 27-year-old newlywed was found strangled, according to the Mauritius Police Force.

Room attendant Avinash Treebhoowoon, 29, and Sandip Moneea, 41, a floor supervisor, have been charged with murder. Room attendant Raj Theekoy, 33, faces a conspiracy charge.

Police said one of the men has confessed and participated in the reconstruction.

Authorities believe the men were inside the teacher's hotel room when she returned alone.

"We presume they were inside and burgling the room when the lady returned and were surprised and attacked her," Mauritius police Superintendent Yoosoof Soopun, who is leading the investigation, said earlier this week.

Authorities said the killer used an electronic key card to enter the room.

The former beauty queen's husband was in the restaurant of the hotel when his wife was killed and is not a suspect, Soopun said.

She had returned to their room to fetch biscuits to go with her tea. When she failed to return, her husband went to look for her and found her dead, Soopun said.

An autopsy showed that she had died from asphyxiation.

Harte-McAreavey taught Irish at St. Patrick's Academy in Dungannon, County Tyrone, in Northern Ireland. She won the Ulster Rose of Tralee contest and participated in other beauty pageants.

Hundreds of people are expected at Harte-McAreavey's wake over the weekend. Harte-McAreavey's funeral is scheduled to take place Monday at the same church where she was married on December 30.

 
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