Kenneth Manzanares was covered in blood that was not his. That was the first indication something had gone horribly wrong on the Emerald Princess cruise ship Tuesday night, according to an arrest affidavit filed by an FBI special agent.
His wife, Kristy, 39, was on the floor of the cabin with a severe head wound, and multiple surfaces were slick with her blood. Kenneth offered a grim explanation on how the night turned tragic as the ship sailed near Alaska.
“She would not stop laughing at me,” Manzanares, 39, told a witness, according to the federal court documents. Kristy was pronounced dead aboard the ship shortly after the 9 p.m. incident.
Manzanares, of Santa Clara, Utah, was charged with Kristy’s murder on the seas and was arrested after the ship docked in Juneau, acting U.S. attorney for Alaska Bryan Schroder announced Thursday.
Identified as K.M. in court documents, Kristy Manzanares was a “trusted adviser and valued sales associate in the St. George, Utah, office,” her employer, Summit Sotheby’s International Realty, told the Associated Press.
The ship, which embarked from Seattle on Sunday on a seven-day, round-trip cruise, was about seven miles from Forrester Island in southeast Alaska when the alleged attack occurred, court documents said.
The FBI, which said other family members of Manzanares were on board, will investigate the case after officials concluded the crime took place in territorial waters. Forrester Island is a small, wooded outpost at the tip of the Alexander Archipelago bordering British Columbia.
The arrest affidavit paints a violent picture of the aftermath of the alleged murder in Manzanares’s cabin.
The first witness, only identified by the initials D.H., told investigators he watched Manzanares grab Kristy’s body, dragging her to the cabin’s balcony. Then D.H. grabbed her ankles to pull her back. Security officers aboard the ship entered soon afterward to detain Manzanares, court documents said.
“We don’t know what he intended to do once he got her out there” on the balcony, Schroder said at a news conference.
As FBI agents searched him for physical evidence after the incident, Manzanares blurted out, “My life is over,” according to court documents.
Fifteen special agents fanned out across the ship to interview about 200 passengers and crew, ABC News reported.
The Emerald Princess was diverted to Juneau, where it was held by authorities for about 15 hours while investigators completed interviews, Princess Cruises said in a statement.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and all those impacted by this tragic event,” the company said.
Manzanares made his initial appearance in federal court in Anchorage on Thursday via video conference from Juneau, wearing an orange jumpsuit and shackles, the AP reported.