herald

Monday 20 August 2018

Probe as ship musician found dead in sea

A crew member of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship has been found dead in the Mexican resort island of Cozumel, possibly the victim of a violent crime.

The body of Monika Markiewicz (32) was recovered from the sea.

Francisco Alor, attorney general of Quintana Roo state, where Cozumel is located, said an autopsy determined the cause of death was drowning.

But he added that Markie-wicz also suffered a blow to the head.

Police are investigating whether her death was murder, he said.

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".

The company said Markie-wicz, a Polish national, debarked from the Allure of the Seas on Friday and did not return. The statement said Markiewicz worked as a musician aboard the ship.

"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.



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"We extend our most sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of our crew member."

Cozumel, one of Mexico's most popular tourist destinations, is far removed from the drug gang violence plaguing the country's northern border with the US and parts of its Pacific coast.

Violence is rare on the island off the Yucatan peninsula, known for its clear blue seas, scuba diving and snorkelling.

The death in Cozumel came as several cruise ship companies are cancelling stops in the Mexican Pacific port of Mazatlan due to crimes against tourists.

hnews@herald.ie

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