Cruise Crew Member Found Dead in Cozumel
The body of Monika Markiewicz, who worked aboard the world's largest cruise ship, the 5,400 passenger Allure of the Seas, was recovered from the ocean off the southern part of the Mexican resort island, says Francisco Alor, attorney general of Quintana Roo state, where Cozumel is located.
Royal spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez says the woman had left the ship on Friday and did not return. Her body was recovered by Mexican authorities on Saturday.
"Tragically, we recently became aware that the crew member was a victim of a violent crime while ashore in a remote area in Cozumel," Royal Caribbean says in a statement. "We are working closely with law enforcement on their investigation, and will provide any assistance we can to catch and prosecute those responsible to the fullest extent of the law."
The cruise line says it is "actively providing support and assistance to the crew member's family and friends, as well as her fellow crew members."
Alor says an autopsy determined the cause of death was drowning, but that Markiewicz also suffered a blow to the head. Police are investigating the death as a possible homicide.
Cozumel is a popular port for cruise ships on western Caribbean cuises. Reports of violence involving tourists on the island are rare.
The death of the Royal Caribbean crew member comes only a few weeks after several ships, including the Disney Wonder, pulled out of Mazatlan over concerns of violence in that city. Most of the ships, but not the Wonder, have since returned after officials promised beefed up security.
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Photo, Royal Caribbean