Numerous news sources are reporting that the body of crew member from Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas was recovered from the ocean near Cozumel.
Polish national Ms. Monika Markiewicz, age 32, was employed by Royal Caribbean as a musician. She disembarked from the Allure on Friday and did not return to the cruise ship. The cruise ship then left Cozumel and sailed back to Miami.
Her body was recovered on Saturday.
An autopsy determined the cause of Ms. Markiewicz’s death was "drowning" but noted that she suffered a blow to the head. According to the Canadian Press, Royal Caribbean spokesman Cynthia Martinez said the information the company had received indicated "she was the victim of a violent crime, and did not drown accidentally." "Tragically, we recently became aware that the crew member was a victim of a violent crime while ashore in a remote area in Cozumel," the statement said.
Royal Caribbean has had many deaths in the last two months. Last week, a crew member was killed and the safety officer injured during a fire drill aboard the Allure’s sister ship Oasis of the Seas. A passenger’s husband filed suit over his wife’s death on the Brilliance of the Seas. Three weeks ago, a passenger fell to his death from the Liberty of the Seas. Two months ago a young cook was found dead on the Oasis of the Seas.
This most recent death comes at a time when some cruise ships have pulled out of some of the ports in Mexico, citing concerns with crime.
Are you a crew member aboard the Allure? If you have information about this incident, please leave a comment below.
February 8, 2011 Update: Mexico, Cruise Ships & Crime Against Women
February 9, 2011 Update: There are a number of articles which are confusing the names of the Royal Caribbean crew member, Ms. Markiewitz, with a cruise line passenger who also died in Mexico after leaving the cruise ship last Friday. The Latin America Herald Tribune identifies the cruise passenger as Ms. Samantha Page Thomas. This newspaper also indicates that Monika Markiewicz was also known as "Monica Warshal."
February 10, 2011 Update: A newspaper in Mexico also identifies the passenger and contains a strange explanation of events. A press conference of the Mexican prosecutor is available on line. Warning, the video contains graphic post mortem images of Ms. Thomas as well as a photograph of Ms. Markiewicz face down in the water when she was found. The prosecutor is quoted as saying that they were also reviewing the cruise ship’s surveillance camera imges to see who the crew member was seen leaving the ship with or whether she may have gone overboard.
A Mexican man was arrested today in Ms. Markiewitcz’s death. Nelson Perez Torres, 24, who worked in a restuarant in Cozumel, reportedly confessed to hitting Monika Markiewicz in the head with a rock and then throwing her into the ocean.
Read our updated article: Alleged Killer of Royal Caribbean Crew Member in Mexico Arrested – Family Maintains Son is Innocent
Top – Runekrem Flickr page
Bottom – AP Photo/Angel Castellanos