Man says he killed wife aboard cruise ship because 'she would not stop laughing at me': Affidavit

jgroup/iStock/Thinkstock(SKAGWAY, Alaska) — A man was charged Thursday with killing his wife aboard a Princess Cruises ship in Alaska, according to federal court documents.

Kenneth Manzanares has been detained and faces murder charges in the death of his 39-year-old wife, who is identified by her initials K.M., according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court by the FBI. A source with knowledge of the FBI’s investigation told ABC News that the victim was Kristy Manzanares of Utah.

Princess Cruises said that a domestic dispute occurred Tuesday night and resulted in the woman’s death. The FBI, which said it is investigating the “suspicious” death, said that it had dispatched teams from Anchorage and Seattle to Juneau to speak with the deceased’s family. The agency has jurisdiction in this case, it said, because the incident happened on the water.

The incident occurred while the cruise was traveling from Ketchikan to Juneau, acting U.S. Attorney for Alaska Bryan Schroder said in a press conference Thursday afternoon.

According to FBI Special Agent Michael Watson’s affidavit, security and medical personnel responded to an incident in a cabin occupied by Manzanares and his wife aboard the Emerald Princess on Tuesday just after 9 p.m. local time, when the ship was seven miles off the coast of Forrester Island.

The man’s wife was found with a severe head wound and blood was spattered throughout the cabin, according to the court documents. She was pronounced dead at approximately 9:20 p.m. local time, the court documents state.

An Emerald Princess security officer told investigators he noticed blood on Manzanares’ hands and clothing at the time. According to the affidavit, the officer placed the man in handcuffs and detained him in an adjoining cabin.

The security officer told investigators that other witnesses had entered the cabin earlier and also saw blood on the husband’s hands and clothing. According to the affidavit, one witness, identified by his initials D.H., said he saw the wife lying on the floor covered in blood, and when he asked Manzanares what happened, the man replied, “She would not stop laughing at me.”

Schroder said that comment was made after the witness had entered the room. Neither he nor the FBI would comment on whether there was a witness in the room at the time of the incident.

Other family members were onboard the ship at the time, the FBI spokesperson said.

The same witness said he then saw Manzanares grab the woman’s body and drag her toward the balcony in the cabin. The witness told investigators he grabbed the woman’s ankles and pulled her back into the cabin. According to the affidavit, Emerald Princess security officers entered the cabin soon after.

“We don’t know what he intended to do once he got her out there,” Schroder said.

“Later, when Manzanares was being processed during a search by the FBI for physical evidence, he spontaneously stated, ‘My life is over,'” Watson states in his affidavit, saying he has probable cause to believe Manzanares committed murder.

Manzanares is due in court at 6 p.m. ET Thursday.

The FBI spokesperson described the crime scene as fairly small and said 15 agents interviewed about 200 passengers and crew members following the incident.

Schroder would not comment on the condition of the remaining members of the family who were onboard the ship.

The Emerald Princess was on a seven-day round-trip cruise that departed Seattle on Sunday, according to the cruise line.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and all those impacted by this tragic event,” Princess Cruises said in a statement.

Passengers told ABC News they were allowed to disembark at Alaska’s remote capital on Wednesday at around 8:30 p.m. local time after authorities lifted an hours-long lockdown.

Princess Cruises later confirmed that the ship departed Juneau for Skagway on Wednesday at 11:15 p.m. local time. The ship, carrying 3,400 passengers and 1,100 crew members, was scheduled to take a scenic tour around the Tracy Arm fjord near Juneau, but that event has been canceled.

“Guests who had shore excursions booked for Tracy Arm Fjord will have their shipboard folio credited automatically, and pre-paid shore excursions will be refunded. Additionally, in light of the impact on guest’s cruise vacations, Princess Cruises has issued each guest a $150 onboard credit,” the cruise line said in a statement Thursday.

A passenger told ABC News that the ship arrived in Skagway on Thursday and passengers have been told the rest of their trip should be unaffected.

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