Update: FBI Investigating Alleged Murder on Carnival Cruise Ship

July 16, 2009
Carnival Elation Update, 11 p.m. EDT: According to various news outlets, the victim has been identified as 55-year-old Shirley McGill of Winnetka, California. Her husband, Robert McGill, has been formally arrested by the FBI and will likely appear in court on Friday.

(2:18 p.m. EDT) -- The FBI is investigating an alleged murder onboard Carnival Cruise Lines' 70,367-ton, 2,052-passenger Carnival Elation.

According to a statement from the cruise line, "a domestic dispute occurred between a husband and wife in their cabin, resulting in the wife's death."

Cruise ship personnel were responding to the dispute when, upon their arrival to the cabin, they found the victim deceased, according to a statement from the FBI. At that point, the man was taken into custody and the FBI and the U.S. Coast Guard were notified.

A Carnival spokeswoman tells us that the line is not able to comment on the cause of death due to the ongoing investigation. The cruise line's CareTeam is offering assistance to the family of the victim; she was 55 years old, according to the FBI statement.

FBI agents boarded the ship in San Diego today to investigate, according to Carnival's statement. Carnival Elation had just returned from a five-day cruise to Cabo San Lucas; the incident occurred on Tuesday, on the last leg of the trip en route to the homeport.

At this point, the ship is expected to set sail from San Diego for its next cruise as scheduled, at 5:30 p.m. local time. We'll keep you posted.

--by Melissa Baldwin Paloti, Managing Editor