Although the FBI has not reached a final conclusion in its investigation of the disappearance of Jennifer Seitz from NCL's 93,500-ton, 2,394-passenger Norwegian Pearl last Thursday, the woman's family has issued a statement saying they believe she committed suicide.
Seitz's husband reported her missing from the ship around 4 a.m. Friday morning. Surveillance video was later found showing a woman in a bathrobe going overboard around 8 p.m. the night before (on Christmas Day). U.S. Coast Guard and Mexican naval vessels searched over 4,200 miles of water off the coast of Cancun, Mexico, before calling off the unsuccessful search.
As reported by the Associated Press, Jennifer Seitz's family has issued a statement saying the woman had "previous emotional issues," but appeared happy and excited about her one-year-anniversary cruise vacation with husband Raymond and mother Donna Ellis, a new job with a local newspaper, and possibly starting a family. The statement says, "The family suspects that Jennifer chose an unfortunate ending to her life."
Although Raymond Seitz has not been charged with any crime, he was arrested in April on a domestic violence and battery charge. The charge was later dropped.
Onboard the ship, the couple participated in NCL's Not-So-Newlywed Game. Also, relatives told "Good Morning America" and other media outlets that Jennifer Seitz often got up at 1 or 2 a.m. to walk the ship before returning to bed, as she was known to have sleeping problems.
As this situation nears the one week mark, one reader on a 20-plus-page Cruise Critic thread sums up all of our feelings. Member paulagualalala writes, "My prayers are with the family and friends of this young woman."
We'll let you know should the FBI reach a conclusion in this case.
--by Erica Silverstein, Associate Editor
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December 30, 2008