Cruise ship tragedies: Murders, disappearances and more

Kristy Manzanares was found dead aboard an Alaskan cruise ship earlier this week, allegedly killed by her husband.

Kenneth Manzanares, 39, was charged with murder as he told an acquaintance that he killed his wife because “she wouldn’t stop laughing” at him, according to the criminal complaint filed by the F.B.I.

Manzanares reportedly dragged his wife’s body to a balcony before he was stopped by bystanders. He also allegedly attempted to jump off the ship before he was stopped by officers.

Here’s a look at some other cruise ship tragedies.

Li Yinglei

Daniel Belling of Dublin, Ireland, was arrested after he disembarked on a cruise ship in Italy with his two children, but not his wife.

Chinese-born Li Yinglei was never reported missing by her husband, who was apprehended by police as he was waiting for a flight in Rome back to Ireland with his two young boys.


The cruise departed from Civitavecchia, Italy on February 9, 2017 and returned on February 20.

Belling maintains that Yinglei was not enjoying herself on the trip, and when he and his sons returned from sightseeing during one of the ship’s stops, Yinglei and her belongings were gone.

He said that he did not report her missing as she has a history of leaving vacations early.

But court documents say she did not take her belongings with her and left behind her credit card, cell phone and wallet, the Irish Times reported.

Belling remains in custody, Yinglei remains unaccounted for.

Bernardo Garcia Teixeira

Bernardo Garcia Teixeira was on a Royal Caribbean Cruises’ Oasis of the Seas with his husband when he went overboard in November 2015. Police said the 31-year-old intentionally jumped, but an attorney for his family said he fell.

Police said video caught Garcia Teixeira proclaiming that he was going to jump overboard.

When Garcia Teixeira did go over the balcony’s railing, he initially landed on a lifeboat hanging from the ship’s firth deck. Staff members tried to rescue him for more than a minute before he fell into the ocean.

Erik Elbaz, his husband, said in a lawsuit that the pair were subjected to “repeated homophobic taunts and slurs.” Elbaz also claimed in the lawsuit that Royal Caribbean “failed to deploy life boats within a reasonable time.” 

Paul Rossington and Kristen Schroder

When his girlfriend slipped from a cruise ship balcony and fell overboard, Paul Rossington didn’t hesitate to jump in to try to save her.


Rossington, 30, and his 26-year-old girlfriend, Kristen Schroder, disappeared from a Carnival Spirit ship on May 8, 2013, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

“The deaths of Kristen and Paul are even more distressing than most because of the loneliness of their deaths in a dark ocean, and because they had gone on the cruise in the hope of restoring and reinforcing their relationship,” deputy state coroner Hugh Dillion said in June 2015.

“Paradoxically, what they had struggled to achieve in life – loving unity – they perhaps managed in their last actions alive,” he said.


The Australian couples’ bodies were never found. Rossington was nominated for the Australian Bravery Award for his courage for jumping in after his girlfriend, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Baby Doe

Alicia Keir was on a Caribbean cruise in October 2011 when she gave birth in her cabin to a baby girl.

Instead of calling for medical help, Keir reportedly wrapped her newborn child in a towel and hid her underneath the bed. A cleaning crew found the dead child the next day. The baby died from exposure and lack of care, according to court records.

“She did not move. She did not make a sound,” Keir told U.S. District Judge Rudy Lozano, admitting that she knew the baby was born alive.

“I should have gotten help,” she added.

Keir pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to one day in jail in 2015 but given credit for time she already served, allowing her to avoid more jail time.

Shirley McGill

Just a few days after her 55th birthday, Shirley McGill was found dead on a Carnival Elation cruise.

McGill died from strangulation and blunt force injury to the head and torso on July 14, 2009, according to the San Diego medical examiner’s office.


Her husband, Robert John McGill, told police that he murdered her “with his bare hands.”

On the night of the murder, Robert McGill reportedly consumed a lot of alcohol before strangling and beating his wife. Afterwards, he changed his clothes and met up with another couple to smoke a cigar and drink some more. When the couple inquired about his wife, McGill said he had killed her, according to the San Diego Tribune.

McGill was sentenced to life in prison in 2011.