Nelson Perez Torres, age 24, reportedly confessed to striking Royal Caribbean crew member Monika Markiewicz in the head with a rock and then throwing her into the ocean, according to the chief prosecutor of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo where Cozumel is located.
As we reported in a prior article, Ms. Monika Markiewicz, a 32-year-old Polish musician who worked aboard Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas cruise ship was found last Saturday in the waters off the southern part of Cozumel. Her employer, Royal Caribbean Cruises, indicated that she was a victim of foul play.
This morning, Royal Caribbean took the unusual step of issuing a statement via PR Newswire, claiming that the killer and Ms. Markiewicz were "casually acquainted for several months." The cruise line also made a point of characterizing the crime as "isolated and uncharacteristic" for Cozumel." Royal Caribbean also congratulated its security department for assisting in the investigation which led to the arrest of the alleged killer.
Meanwhile, a newspaper in Mexico Por Esto is reporting that the parents of Mr. Torres are complaining that their son had been falsely accused of the crime and allegedly intimidated into a confession. They claim that he had never been in trouble before and he had worked at a bar near the cruise pier for the past eight years. They claim that because they are a humble family of little means, their son was railroaded into a confession. Friends and family members picketed at the pier with signs saying Mr. Torres is innocent.
There are several Mexican newspapers indicating that Mr. Torres gave different statements to the police, initially stating that he did not know Ms. Markiewicz and had never seen her, or that they had walked together to a location and he left after she resisted his advances, or that she had slipped and then he hit her with a rock to end her suffering.
Photo credits: Por Esto newspaper