The alleged killers of honeymooner Michaela McAreavey were hiding in her room when the unsuspecting teacher walked in and lunged at her only when she had closed the door.
After strangling the 27-year-old newly-wed, the two hotel staff then allegedly went back to work as if nothing had happened.
As widower John McAreavey accompanied his wife's body to the UK, fresh details of the horror that unfolded inside room 1025 of the luxury Legends Hotel in Mauritius on Monday have emerged.
They were outlined in the confession statement of one of the suspected killers - room attendant Avinash Treebhoowoon, 29 - which police on the island have revealed to the Press Association.
Treebhoowoon claims he jumped behind the honeymooners' bed when he heard someone at the door.
"He said he lay there behind the bed until she came in," said a police spokeswoman.
He alleges that he and co-accused floor supervisor Sandip Moneea, 41, had been in the room to steal the couple's valuables. It is understood they had spotted a purse with cash in it while cleaning the day before.
The confessing killer alleges that after grappling with the bride, he held her down while Moneea strangled her.
They then dragged her body to the bathroom and dumped her in the bath, turning on the tap before they fled.
"They wanted people to believe that she had an accident," added the spokeswoman.
Moneea has not made any statement of admission to the police.
There have been widespread tributes to the victim, whose father is one of Ireland's most celebrated sports figures, Co Tyrone GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) manager Mickey Harte.
It is understood that Treebhoowoon admitted the crime to officers after a third accused and fellow room attendant Raj Theekoy, 33, made a statement implicating him and Moneea.
Theekoy is charged with conspiracy because he allegedly passed along the corridor outside the room while the struggle was taking place but, despite hearing screams, did nothing to stop it and failed to report it.
Skin tissue found under her fingernails could prove crucial to the police case against the two accused.
DNA tests on forensic evidence recovered from her body are due to be completed by today or early tomorrow.
"These results will be very, very important to the police case," said the spokeswoman.
In an event that would be unheard of in Britain and Ireland, two of the accused were forced to take part in a reconstruction of the crime at the hotel complex yesterday.
Mrs McAreavey married just 10 days before her death.
Treebhoowoon and Moneea were remanded in custody on Wednesday, charged with murder, and Theekoy with conspiracy to murder. They are due back in court next Wednesday.
The body of Mrs McAreavey, who was from Ballygawley, Co Tyrone, is due to arrive back in Belfast at lunchtime.
Details have been released confirming plans for her funeral on Monday in the Roman Catholic church in Tyrone where she married Mr McAreavey days before her murder in Mauritius.
The Harte and McAreavey families issued a joint statement thanking friends, relatives and the public for their support, and detailing the funeral arrangements.
The families said: "We are all grateful for the prayers and support we have received from all parts of Ireland, the UK and across the world. This support has helped sustain us physically, emotionally and spiritually through these darkest of days.
"The distance from Mauritius has only increased our sense of isolation and separation from our beloved Michaela and her husband John.
"Now, as two heartbroken and devastated families, together we can share our grief and our love for Michaela and provide support and comfort to John.
"As Michaela returns home, we respectfully ask for full privacy to allow our two families, united in sorrow, to have the space and time to spend with a much-loved wife, daughter and sister.
"Therefore the wake and private family service on the evening of Friday January 14 will be for immediate family only."
The families said today marked "the final stage of Michaela's journey home" and that she was being accompanied by her widower, brother Mark, father-in-law Brendan and brother-in-law Brian.
The grieving party will fly into George Best Belfast City Airport, after which, they said, Mrs McAreavey's body will be taken directly to a nearby funeral parlour for a private removal service.
Later it will be taken back to the Harte home in Glencull Road, Ballygawley, for a private family service.
The relatives said anyone wishing to pay their respects can do so at the family home tomorrow and on Sunday. There will be special park-and-ride facilities provided at nearby locations.
It was confirmed that on Monday a Requiem will be held at St Malachy's Church, Ballymacilroy, at 12.30pm. The young newlywed will then be buried in the adjoining cemetery.
The relatives added that they have arranged family flowers for the funeral and have asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to charities formed in memory of two Tyrone gaelic footballers who also died in tragic circumstances - the Cormac (McAnallen) Trust and the Spirit of Paul McGirr Fund.
The families said further details on funeral plans would be made available over the coming days, and their statement added: "We would like to thank the media for their ongoing co-operation and for the sensitivity of the reporting to date. We hope that this continues as we struggle, with God's help, to come to terms with our tremendous loss."
On Wednesday, 30-year-old Mr McAreavey described his late wife as his best friend who was the "rock" of his life.
The Co Down Gaelic footballer said he shared his pain with Mrs McAreavey's parents, Mickey and Marian, and her three brothers.
"She is a gift from God and I now have an angel," 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."
He added: "Our hopes, our dreams and our future together are gone. I love my wife, very, very much and my world revolved around her."
Irish Ambassador in South Africa Brendan McMahon, who is on the Indian Ocean holiday island, said: "John is absolutely devastated. It is very upsetting. It's not an easy situation at all."
The ambassador said the murder had sent a shockwave across Mauritius, with staff at the Legends Hotel stunned.Reuse content