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In this handout image provided by the U.S. Navy, The Bluefin 21, Artemis autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) is hoisted back on board the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield after successful buoyancy testing April 1, 2014 in the Indian Ocean. Joint Task Force 658 is currently supporting Operation Southern Indian Ocean, searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. The airliner disappeared on March 8 with 239 passengers and crew on board and is suspected to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter D. Blair/U.S. Navy via Getty
Peter D. Blair/U.S. Navy/Getty Images
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BEIJING, CHINA - AUGUST 07: Chinese relatives of passengers missing on Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 cry as they kneel in front of the media outside the Malaysian Embassy during a protest by relatives on August 7, 2015 in Beijing, China. France expanded its search for debris off Reunion Island Friday a day after Malaysia's prime minister announced that a piece of wing discovered last week is from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370 which vanished last year. Officials and experts from other countries including the United States and Australia have been more cautious, saying that more investigating needs to be done. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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Story highlights

Mauritius is about 700 miles from Madagascar

In addition, debris was found in the region in July and February

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished two years ago with 239 people on board

CNN —  

A piece of debris thought to be from the Malaysian airliner that went missing more than two years ago over the Indian Ocean has been found in the island nation of Mauritius.

The debris suspected to be from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished in March 2014 with 239 people on board, was found Thursday on the coast of Rodrigues Island, an employee of the Mourouk Ebony Hotel, where the debris was stored for safekeeping, told CNN.

Jean Josie Milazare said two hotel guests, Jean Dominique and Suzy Vitry, from La Reunion, found a piece of debris on the beach. Milazare said police now have the debris.

Malaysian authorities expected to lead investigation

Hotel guests found the debris on a beach, an employee of the Mourouk Ebony Hotel said.
Facebook/Mourouk Ebony Hotel
Hotel guests found the debris on a beach, an employee of the Mourouk Ebony Hotel said.

Mauritius, a volcanic island nation in the Indian Ocean that is a bit over 10 times the size of Washington, D.C., is known for its beaches, lagoons and reefs. It lies about 700 miles east of Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean.

Debris thought to be from MH370 was found on Reunion, an island southwest of Mauritius, last July. And another piece of debris thought to be from the missing airliner was found on a sandbar off Mozambique in February.

Dan O’Malley, a spokesman for the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, said Australian authorities were aware of the debris found on Rodrigues Island, but he expected Malaysian authorities to take the lead in the investigation.

CNN’s Deborah Bloom in Atlanta and David Molko in Hong Kong contributed to this report.