Husband charged with murdering wife aboard cruise ship off Juneau

Local News
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A husband accused of killing his Utah wife aboard a cruise ship traveling the waters of Southeast Alaska now stands charged with murder, according to federal court documents.

Cruise ship security personnel who found a man in his cabin near his wife’s bloodied body said he told witnesses, “She would not stop laughing at me,” court documents reveal.

Princess Cruises says Kristy Manzanares, a 39-year-old Utah woman, died in the attack that’s believed to have resulted from a domestic dispute. 

A federal search warrant affidavit says Emerald Princess security and medical personnel responded just after 9 p.m. to an incident in cabin D726, registered to guests Kenneth Manzanares and the victim.

Kristy Manzanares was found in the cabin dead with a severe head wound, and “blood was spread throughout the room on multiple surfaces,” the affidavit said. Kenneth Manzanares was in the cabin with blood on his hands and clothing, a responding security officer told the FBI agent who signed the affidavit.

The security officer handcuffed Kenneth Manzanares and secured him in an adjoining cabin. Witnesses who entered the room before the officer arrived told the officer they found Kenneth Manzanares with blood on his hands and clothing, according to the affidavit. One witness told the officer he saw the woman lying on the floor covered in blood, and when he asked Kenneth Manzanares what had happened, Manzanares replied, “She would not stop laughing at me.”

The witness said Kenneth Manzanares then grabbed the victim’s body and dragged her towards the cabin’s balcony, the affidavit says. The witness then grabbed then victim’s ankles and pulled her back inside the cabin. Security arrived shortly afterward.

Later, when Kenneth Manzanares was being processed during an FBI evidence search, “he spontaneously stated, ‘My life is over,'” the affidavit said.

The ship was carrying 3,400 passengers and 1,100 crew members. It departed Seattle on Sunday for a seven-day round-trip cruise. It had left Ketchikan, Alaska, on Tuesday around 3 p.m. The death forced the crew to divert the ship to Juneau, where it arrived just before 8 a.m. on Wednesday – about six and a half hours ahead of schedule.

Thousands of passengers were kept on board for hours while the FBI investigated. The Emerald Princess spans the length of nearly three football fields and has 19 decks. 

Rowlen said his wife looked over the balcony and saw a man, bruised, cut and covered in blood.

“My wife’s a registered nurse, she thought he was going to jump over the rail, and at one point he put his hand on the rail and set his rear on it, but she started yelling get back in and the ship announced, get a security team to that area,” he said.

The U.S. attorney’s office announced it would hold a news conference with representatives of the FBI and Coast Guard Thursday in Anchorage to announce the filing of federal charges in the case.

Additional details are available on CBSNews.com.

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