Cruise Ship Death: FBI Probes Suspicious Death Aboard Royal Caribbean Baltimore Cruise

 @TBarrabit.barrabi@ibtimes.com on March 26 2013 12:44 PM
Royal Caribbean
FBI officials are investigating the death of a 62-year-old woman who died under suspicious circumstances on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

The FBI is investigating the circumstances behind the death of a 62-year-old woman who was found dead in her room on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.

According to a report by CBS Baltimore, the 62-year-old Virginia woman was found dead in cabin number 7110 on Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas. The report claims that the woman’s husband discovered her behind the cabin’s padlocked door.

The woman’s death was suspicious enough to warrant an active investigation, officials said.

Originally scheduled as a seven-day cruise, the Royal Caribbean vessel sailed from Baltimore to Port Canaveral, Fla. Next, the ship sailed to Nassau in the Bahamas, then Cococay, before turning around in the wake of the passenger’s death.

Spokesman Rich Wolf of the FBI’s Baltimore field office told CBS Baltimore that agents were dispatched to inspect the ship when it returned to port on Monday. According to Wolf, an autopsy will be performed to determine the manner of the victim’s death, and agents will be interviewing her husband, CBS Baltimore reports. The spokesman has yet to announce whether the woman had suffered any noticeable injury.

“Generally, a suspicious death is in order when there is an unexpected death or not easily explained circumstances, like no obvious signs of trauma,” security expert Rob Weinhold told CBS.

Weinhold added that the cabin itself may hold the key to determining what happened. “At the end of the day, the crime scene needs to be preserved so that physical evidence as well as witness testimony can be used to determine exactly what happened,” he said.

CBS Baltimore notes that maritime attorney Jim Walker, who curates the blog “Cruise Law News,” first heard about the case Sunday night. Apparently, some of the ship’s passengers had been posting updates and messages on the blog.

“One of the people on the ship said they were detaining everyone on the seventh floor,” said Walker. Other passengers reported that the victim’s room was being blocked off by a guard.

The Royal Caribbean cruise line released a statement addressing the situation, stating that they’ve cooperated with the FBI investigation and were assisting the family of the deceased woman.

FBI agents will continue to investigate the possibility of foul play.

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