WHEN passengers aboard the Emerald Princess cruise heard the first in a string of announcements regarding a death on the ship, some simply thought it was part of the show.
Kristy Manzanares, 39, was found in her cabin with a severe head wound Tuesday, following a “domestic dispute” around 9 p.m., authorities said. She was pronounced dead 20 minutes later.
Others aboard the cruise, meanwhile, were being entertained by a “Murder Mystery” dinner show elsewhere on the ship, traveling through Alaska waters, CBS reported.
Their revelry, however, was interrupted by a troubling announcement requesting urgent assistance from medical and security teams. Passenger Vic Simpson recalled the casual response from those enjoying the dinner show, most of them under the impression that it was simply meant to enhance the evening’s entertainment.
“Because they were doing a murder mystery theater about death on a cruise ship, most people thought it was just part of the dramatic effect of what they were doing,” he told Inside Edition.
Kristy Manzanares, 39, died aboard the Emerald Princess ship in Alaska after a domestic dispute says the FBI.
Confusion surrounding the matter devolved into concern, and the cruise liner was diverted to Juneau hours ahead of schedule.
The ship was placed on lockdown for hours as the FBI investigated. Some were restricted to their cabins, while others were free to walk about, but not leave the ship. Passengers were eventually allowed to disembark around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.
After hundreds of interviews, officials filed murder charges against Manzanares’ husband, Kenneth Manzanares, Thursday afternoon.
In the arrest affidavit, a witness identified as only D.H. recalled entering the cabin where the incident took place and asking Kenneth what unfolded in the blood-covered room.
“She wouldn’t stop laughing at me,” he responded, before attempting to drag his wife’s body over to the ship’s balcony. When a security officer arrived minutes later, he cuffed Kenneth Manzanares after spotting blood on his shirt and hands.
A federal judge Thursday afternoon appointed a public defender for the murder suspect. He dabbed his eyes and nose with a tissue, crying, ahead of his appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin F. McCoy via teleconference from Juneau.
The couple had taken the cruise to celebrate their 18th wedding anniversary and their teenage daughters were with them on the vacation, their neighbors, Nicole and Brice Beckstrom, told CBS.
“To find out that it was her was shocking,” Nicole said.
The family of five boarded The Emerald Princess in Seattle on Sunday for a seven-day cruise along the Alaskan coastline.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Schmidt told Kenneth Manzanares he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison or the death penalty and a maximum fine of $250,000. McCoy additionally ordered the suspect remain in jail until the case is resolved.
With News Wire Services